Epilepsy is associated with disrupted activities in the brain called seizures, which affects the central nervous system. Epilepsy is categorized into generalized seizures and partial seizures based on the areas affected in the brain. Generalized seizures affect the whole brain, while partial seizures affect just one part of the brain. Seizures are further classified into mild seizures and stronger seizures depending on the severity of the seizures. The diagnosis of mild seizures are difficult, as its lasts only for few seconds. Stronger seizures may last for a few seconds to several minutes, resulting in spasms and uncontrollable muscle twitches. This may cause the patient to lose consciousness, lead to temporary loss of cognition, or memory loss during the seizure. Epilepsy occurring due to brain infections such as meningitis is known as symptomatic epilepsy, while genetics related condition is called idiopathic epilepsy. The number of available antiepilepsy drugs have doubled over the past few decades and for the treatment of pediatric epilepsy, nine new drugs were launched in the last decade, as the benefits of the medicines are greater than the subsequent side-effects from the medicine. Third generation epilepsy drugs are rapidly replacing second and first generation drugs, as they are more safe and tolerable than the previous generation drugs. Few first generation drugs are Phenytoin (Dilantin and Phenytek), Carbamazepine (Carbatrol), Valproate (Depakote), Oxycarbazepine (Trileptal), Phenobarbital (Luminal), Primidone (Mysoline); and second generation drugs are Lamotrigine (Lamictal), Pregabalin (Lyrica), Lacosamide (Vimpat), and Rufinamide (Banzel/Inovelon). The newer drugs have better efficacy, with much better pharmacokinetic profiles and fewer drug interactions than the classic first generation drugs. For instance, the third generation drugs, UCB’s Keppra (levetiracetam) and GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK’s) Lamictal (lamotrigine) have rapidly become the commonly used drugs for first-line treatments.

Antiepileptic Drugs Market Drivers

Factors such as rising prevalence of epilepsy and robust pipeline are expected to boost the market growth over the forecast period. According to the study by Epilepsy Action Australia statistics in 2017, around 50 million people globally have epilepsy with around 80% of the people living in emerging economies such as India, Brazil, and China. Moreover, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017, an estimated 3.4 million people have active epilepsy in the U.S., which includes 3 million adults and 470,000 children. Manufacturers have potential drug molecules in the pipeline for the treatment of various forms of epilepsy. For instance, SK Life Sciences, Inc. has Cenobamate (YKP3089) in Phase 3 clinical trials. Eisai, Co., Ltd. has the drug Perampanel in Phase 2 clinical trials, and Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has the drug Ganaxolone in Phase II clinical trials. The expected launches of these drugs over the forecast period is expected to create favorable condition for the market growth. Moreover, in 2015, Neurelis, Inc. received orphan drug designation for NRL-1 for the treatment of acute repetitive seizures and the drug is currently in phase III clinical trials. In 2016, Pfizer, Inc.’s Lyrica (pregabalin) cleared phase-3 clinical trials for prescription to pediatric patients. Drug launches by leading manufacturers is expected to foster growth of the antiepileptic drugs market over the forecast period. For instance, in 2016, UCB Pharma Limited received the U.S. FDA approval for Briviact, for the treatment of patients with partial onset seizures. Mylan launched generic Felbatol tablets in the U.S. after receiving approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 2016. These factors are expected to boost the market growth over the forecast period.

However, mild neurological adverse effects shown by these drugs can be fatal and the adverse reactions and risks vary with each medication, which is expected to hamper the adoption rate of the antiepileptic drugs over the forecast period, in turn affecting the market growth.

Antiepileptic Drugs Market Regional Analysis

North America and Europe are expected to witness significant growth in the market over the forecast period due to robust pipeline for epilepsy treatment and individual efforts by leading manufacturers. For instance, Pfizer, Inc. entered into partnership with Epilepsy Foundation to find solutions for generic forms of epilepsy and associated neurological disorders in 2014. Asia Pacific region is expected to show positive developments over the forecast period, owing to drug launches by leading manufacturers in the region. For instance, UCB Pharma received approval in Japan for Vimpat adjunctive therapy for partial onset seizures of epilepsy in 2016. Moreover, Eisai Pharma launched antiepilepsy drug Fycompa in India in 2017.

Antiepileptic Drugs Market Competitive Landscape

Key players operating in the global antiepileptic drugs market include GlaxoSmithKline plc, Johnson & Johnson, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., Abbott Laboratories, Cephalon, Inc., Pfizer, Inc., Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Novartis AG, UCB Pharma Ltd., and Sanofi S.A.

Antiepileptic Drugs Market Taxonomy

The global antiepileptic drugs market is segmented on the basis of drug class, distribution channel, and region:

By Drug Class

  • First Generation
  • Second Generation
  • Third Generation

By Distribution Channel

  • Hospital Pharmacies
  • Retail Pharmacies
  • Online Pharmacies

By Region

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Africa
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