Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that stimulates the thyroid gland to release excessive thyroid hormone, leading to hyperthyroidism. It is termed as Basedow’s disease in continental Europe and Graves’ disease in the U.S.
In this disease, body’s immune system produces antibodies that help the thyroid gland to grow which in turn synthesizes abnormal levels of thyroid hormones causing hyperthyroidism. Graves’ disease is the most predominant cause of hyperthyroidism in the U.S. A study conducted in Minnesota estimated the incidence of the disease at 30 cases per 1 million persons. Approximately 1 in every 500 women has maternal thyrotoxicosis. According to the Wickham study in England, Graves’ disease accounted for 0.5 cases per 1000 persons, with higher rate of incidence in people aged between 40 and 60. After Hashimoto thyroiditis, Graves’ disease is the most prevalent autoimmune thyroid disorder in the U.S. Through a study conducted by PREGO (presentation of Graves orbitopathy), the annual incidence of Graves’ orbitopathy in Europe was 10-30/10,000 human subjects but over a period of time, the severity and incidence of Graves’ disease in Europe has been observed to decrease to 2.10/10,000/year.
As with most autoimmune diseases, Graves’ disease is also more likely to affect women than men. Hyperthyroidism due to Graves’ disease has a female-to-male ratio of 7-8:1. Typically, it is a disease of young women, but it can occur in persons of any age. The prevalence rate for Graves’ disease is similar in both Asians and Caucasians, but is lower in the African population.
Treatment of Graves’ disease involves reduction of abnormal thyroid hormone levels and relieving the associated discomfort. The three standard treatment options are the use of anti-thyroid drugs, radioactive iodine ablation, and thyroidectomy. All three treatments inhibit overproduction of thyroid hormone. The least invasive and typical first-line therapy for Graves’ disease is the use of anti-thyroid drugs, which slows down thyroid activity and inhibits production of thyroid hormone. Propylthiouracil (PTU) and methimazole (MMI) are inexpensive, devoid of side effects, and are the most commonly used treatment option for this disease.
Iodine-131 is used in radioactive iodine ablation (RIA) to destroy entire or part of the thyroid gland, resulting in prevention of overproduction of thyroid hormone. Removal of the thyroid gland through surgery called subtotal thyroidectomy is one of the most invasive treatment options. Irrespective of the treatment method, patients have to follow long term treatment regimens to ward off the chances of hyperthyroidism or occurrence of hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy along the length of the patient’s life is necessary. This presents large opportunities for new players in the market.
Rise in number of patients with thyroid disorders, favorable reimbursement policies for treatment, and increase in awareness about the complications associated with thyroid disorders are the major drivers of the Graves’ disease market. Increasing iodine disorder and thyroid tumors screening is one of the leading factors fueling the growth of the market.
Based on the product type Graves’ disease drugs could be classified into Anti-thyroid drugs, Iodine & Iodides, Radioactive Iodine, Ionic Inhibitors. Anti-thyroid drug is further segmented into Beta-adrenergic blockers, thiomides and corticosteroids
The Graves’ disease market is anticipated to witness moderate growth. In terms of region, the Graves’ disease drug market has been segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is anticipated to be the major market for thyroid related disorders followed by Europe. Asia Pacific is likely to be the fastest growing market for thyroid related disorders drugs due to increased health care investments, rise in awareness about hyperthyroidism, and various treatment options available.
Key players in the Graves’ disease market are Abbott Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer, Inc., RLC LABS, AbbVie, Inc., Mylan N.V., and Allergan, plc., and others.
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