October 29, 2008

Demographic Trends Creating Opportunities for Inhaled Drug Delivery

Faced with an aging patient population that is placing greater emphasis on compliance, less-frequent dosing, and ease-of-use, drug developers continue to examine inhalation as a potential drug delivery method. While the technology associated with pressurized metered dose inhalers (MDIs) has been evolving to address the replacement of CFC propellants and device 'proper use' issues, the design and development capabilities of this class of inhalation devices are fairly well dispersed among inhaled therapeutic sector participants.

For dry powder inhalers, with its reliance on particle engineering and dependence on deep lung inspiratory flow characteristics, the situation is quite different. With the exception of a handful of very large inhaled drug players with captive capabilities, there is a broad reliance on a core group of device developers and technology consultancies specializing in drug particle development and dry powder inhaler design.

Over the next four years, we expect the value of systemic drugs delivered via inhalation to increase at an average annual rate of thirty-three percent. During the same period, inhaled drugs for upper respiratory conditions including asthma, and COPD will increase at a rate of between eight and nine percent. Systemic inhaled drugs will represent just under nine percent of all inhaled drugs worldwide in 2011, up from less than five percent in 2007.

Significant developments over the next four years will include new dual drug inhalers that combine the actions of two distinct drug classes to treat upper respiratory diseases, and device designs that eliminate dosing errors related to differences attributable to patient usage factors. For systemic inhalation, we expect at least one approved drug to emerge for a number of new therapeutic indications that will represent first-in-class products for drug inhalation. Indications in this area include cardiovascular medicine, metabolic diseases, sexual health, neurology (other than migraine) and pain management.

Survey results are contained in a recently published report: Delivering Drugs by Inhalation. The report analyzes emerging inhalation drug products, market participants, and key demand and technology factors influencing the commercial market and shaping growth in this sector.

More information is available at


About Greystone

Greystone Associates is a medical and healthcare technology consulting firm providing services in strategic planning, venture development, product commercialization, and technology and market assessment.

 Contact:  Mark Smith Voice: 603-595-4340 Fax: 603-804-0466 www.greystoneassociates.org

SOURCE: Greystone Associates