Monday, 10 May 2021


AbbVie and Pfizer lead rheumatoid arthritis digital marketing space in Australia

16 April 2021 | Analysis

The RA treatment landscape is already facing biosimilar competition, says GlobalData

Photo Credit: GlobalData

Photo Credit: GlobalData

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment landscape in Australia is well established with several novel disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). However, stiff biosimilars competition is expected to impact the leading drugs — AbbVie’s Humira and Pfizer’s Enbrel. Against this backdrop, the pharma giants are offering maximum support to RA patients through digital channels, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s ‘Pharmaceutical Intelligence Center’, the market size of RA in Australia is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 1.72% from US$213.68m in 2021 to US$249.32m in 2029.

In Australia, DMARDs available for RA treatment include AbbVie’s Humira and Rinvoq, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Orencia, Eli Lilly’s Olumiant, Gilead’s Jyseleca, Janssen’s Remicade and Simponi, Pfizer’s Enbrel and Xeljanz, Roche’s Actemra and Ristova/MabThera, and UCB’s Cimzia. Among these, Humira, Enbrel, Ristova/MabThera, and Remicade face stiff competition with five, three, three, and two biosimilars, respectively.

Venkat Kartheek Vale, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The Australian RA market looks attractive for global pharma companies due to increasing diagnosed prevalent cases. The launch of new therapies by AbbVie, Eli Lilly and Gilead and an innovative pipeline can drive the RA market positively in the future but increasing competition from biosimilars could impact the overall growth. Therefore, focus on digital initiatives could further help originator or biosimilars companies to take the competition head-on.”

GlobalData’s ‘Digital Marketing Intelligence’ identified digital assets from AbbVie, Pfizer, Janssen, Roche and UCB for RA patients in Australia.

An analysis of digital presence by companies showed branded websites for Actemra, Cimzia, Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, Rinvoq, Stelara, and Xeljanz.

In Australia, Humira and Enbrel together represent around 50% of the total sales, and this widespread dominance is evident through their activity on digital support channels. The traffic analysis of the last 12 months reveals highest traffic to the branded websites of AbbVie’s Humira and Rinvoq followed by Pfizer’s Enbrel and Xeljanz.

Mr Vale concludes: “The RA treatment landscape is already facing biosimilar competition and a few more brands like Simponi, Cimzia, and Xeljanz are going to lose patent protection by 2025. In addition, the recently launched small molecule therapies are intensifying the competition. While AbbVie is already ahead of others by offering digital support to Rinvoq users, recent entrants like Eli Lilly and Gilead along with a few existing players lack digital presence. Hence, it is essential for the companies to mark their presence on digital channels and deliver the required support to patients using their products.”

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