Skip to Content

Namenda & Aricept Command Over 49% of the Market for Dementia: PharmaLive Special Report

Newtown, PA, Aug. 24, 2011 - Neurodegenerative diseases are the sixth-leading cause of death in high-income countries, with 35.6 million people suffering from dementia worldwide. This patient population is predicted to reach 115.4 million people by 2050.

Up to 8% of all people over 65 years old have some form of dementia. Dementia prevalence about doubles for every five years of age starting at 60. Dementia caused by nervous system diseases, especially Alzheimer's disease, is increasing in frequency. Alzheimer's disease strikes nearly a half million new patients each year.

There are only a handful of FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. These drugs temporarily reduce symptoms including memory problems, confusion, aggression, and a general decline in bodily functions. These medicines work by slowing down the disease activity that breaks down a key neurotransmitter or by regulating the activity of glutamate, a chemical messenger involved in learning and memory.

Industry experts hope for a breakthrough Alzheimer's drug that will treat the underlying disease and stop or delay the cell damage that eventually leads to worsening of symptoms. A drug that can stop or reduce memory loss could generate annual sales exceeding $5 billion.

"The late-stage industry pipeline is expected to yield a few blockbuster medications for Alzheimer's disease," says Andrew Humphreys, editor in chief of UBM Canon Data Products. "Pfizer and J&J's bapineuzumab and Eli Lilly's solanezumab appear have the most commercial and clinical potential. These drug candidates are being developed to target beta amyloid plaque, considered to be a main contributor to Alzheimer's disease."

Pfizer Inc. and Eisai Co. Ltd.'s Aricept is the top-selling drug for the treatment of dementia. Aricept is the first and only prescription medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of all stages of AD – mild, moderate and severe dementia of the Alzheimer's type.

Aricept is not a cure for AD, but may help provide symptomatic benefits for some patients. For those who respond, symptoms may improve, stabilize or progress more slowly than patients who do not take Aricept.

Aricept generated 2010 global sales of about $3.97 billion. Since Pfizer's loss of exclusivity in November 2010, other companies such as Teva are shipping generic versions of the top-selling medication.

More information is available in Dementia: Causes, Treatments, and Outlook 2011, located at

For additional information, contact Sandra Baker at +1-215-944-9836 or

About UBM Canon Data Products
UBM Canon Data Products provide financial, company, and product statistical data and qualitative analysis for the global pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and appliance industries through PharmaLive Special Reports and Appliance Market Research Reports; maintains eKnowledgeBase and MDRWeb, comprehensive market intelligence tools serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical-device sectors; and manages company-wide Site Licenses for, Med Ad News, and R&D Directions.

About UBM Canon
UBM Canon is a business-to-business media company serving the worldwide advanced manufacturing sector through its publications, trade events, and electronic media.

Amanda Wells

Posted: August 2011