Challenges in Intrathecal pumps market

In recent years, management of chronic pain by intrathecal delivery is gaining importance. Intrathecal pumps allow precisely controlled and sustained release of medication in the human body to get rid of various chronic conditions namely cancer pain and multiple sclerosis. The intrathecal pump and catheters are implanted under the skin surgically to deliver the drug directly into the spinal cord, which offers dramatic pain management.  Besides, these pumps are easy to use, portable, accurate, and also consume very less power. World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that, 1 out 10 adults are newly identified with chronic pain annually. Thus, there exist a huge potential for intrathecal pumps market.

Drugs used in intrathecal drug delivery pumps consist mainly of opioids, adrenergic agonists, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor agonists, local anesthetics, and other agents.  As most of the drugs delivered through intrathecal pumps are analgesics, pain management accounts for the largest share in the global intrathecal pumps market followed by spasticity management.

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Challenges in Intrathecal pumps market

Although to relive pain, intrathecal pumps are considered as effective tool, these pumps may have some risks and complications that must be addressed. In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration filed a court order against Medtronic ordering to stop production and distribution of its SynchroMed II intrathecal pain pumps due to defects in the surgically implanted pumps, which accused for over a dozen deaths. The devices either lost power or accidentally injected patients with high or low dosage of drug.  Thus, product quality and safety is one of the aspects to safeguard against the medical complications.

Intrathecal pumps market scenario is shaping favorably for sustained growth over the following decade

Major changes in the pump therapy for chronic diseases are likely to be observed during the forecast period 2017-2025. Intrathecal pumps are widely used to relive chronic pain in cancer. According to a survey conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2012, new cases of cancer were estimated to be 14.1 million and mortality rate was approximately 8.2 million. According to a survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Pain Community in 2011, the prevalence of chronic pain in cancer was evaluated around 25% for newly identified patients and greater than 75% for patients with progressive disease.  The demand for advanced intrathecal pumps will extensively upsurge in future with increasing cases of chronic illnesses.

Intrathecal pump device is expected to evolve with several companies working on new technologies that would improve the functioning of programmable pump, internal mechanism, and safety.  In 2014, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the ‘Prometra’ intrathecal pump launched by Flowonix Medical Inc. ‘Prometra’ have various features, such as accurate drug delivery system, dual-gated valve drug distribution, and improved device durability. The other area of interest in the intrathecal space is the development of new drugs that could be delivered to treat specific alignments. For instance, FDA approved number of medications, such as Ziconotide (2004), Spinraza (2016), and probuphine (2016), which have been proven to be safe for intrathecal administration.

Some of the key players in intrathecal pumps market are Codman & Shurtleff, Medtronic plc, Arrow International, Medallion Therapeutics, Flowonix, and Tricumed GmbH.

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