In the race to combat cancer, the field of oncology has experienced strong growth in recent years. With forecasts pointing towards a continued upward trend, it is no surprise that the oncology market has emerged as the largest therapy area by sales, poised to generate $2.2 trillion in sales between 2023 and 2029.
This surge in oncology sales presents a golden opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to develop and commercialize innovative cancer treatments to make a meaningful impact in the lives of patients, says GlobalData, a data and analytics company.
The growth of oncology drug sales can be attributed to multiple factors, including regulatory approvals, fierce competition, and an aging population. As age is a significant risk factor for cancer, the incidence of disease rises as the population grows older, creating a larger patient population in need of treatment.
The American Cancer Society reports that around 60% of cancer cases occur in individuals ages 65 years and older. Consequently, developing innovative and effective cancer therapies has become a highly lucrative proposition for pharmaceutical companies given the growing patient cohort and the unmet needs that require addressing.
Kevin Marcaida, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, says: “The role of regulatory approvals is important to the growth of oncology drug sales. Pharmaceutical companies invest heavily in clinical trials to secure regulatory approval, and a successful approval can pave the way for a substantial surge in sales. According to GlobalData’s Drugs Database, regulatory approvals for innovator oncology drugs have almost tripled at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.57%, growing from 16 approvals in 2013 to 43 approvals in 2022.”
Furthermore, due to intense competition and R&D efforts among pharmaceutical companies, the oncology market leads in terms of the number of drugs in pre-registration. As per GlobalData Drugs Database, there are currently 125 oncology drugs in pre-registration, with the next highest number of drugs in pre-registration for infectious diseases, at 73 drugs. The high number of drugs in pre-registration could translate to more drug launches in the future and potentially contribute to the continued growth in sales.
The oncology market is set to experience a 6.8% CAGR, propelled by the US, which stands as the largest market for oncology drugs. The US is forecast to account for 47% of the total forecast sales between 2023 and 2029.
Sales across the rest of the world will also play a crucial role in driving revenue growth, with an expected CAGR of 6.9% until 2029 and accounting for 43% of total revenue share during 2023–2029.
Although Europe and Japan are forecast to hold smaller sales shares, they are expected to outpace the global average and grow the fastest, with Europe forecast to grow at a CAGR of 8.4% and Japan forecast to grow at an impressive CAGR of 8.9%.
Marcaida concludes: “As the global population continues to age and cancer incidence rates rise, the oncology market is set to dominate the pharmaceutical industry. As such, the oncology market presents a significant opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to develop and market innovative cancer treatments, paving the way for improved patient outcomes and potentially life-saving advancements in cancer care.”