It involves the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. While BPH rarely shows symptoms before the age of 40, the risk of contracting BPH increases with age. The condition affects nearly 50% of men between the ages of 51 and 60 and up to 90% of men older than 80. Treatment measures such as medications and surgery have been used for patients with BPH.
The prostate health market witnessed a loss of business, and the trend continued till late December 2020. Unfavorable changes in regulations and guidelines are hampering the growth of this industry. Major regulatory authorities across the globe (such as CDC, WHO, MHRA, TGA, and EMA) have identified that cancer patients are at greater risk of COVID-19 infection than healthy adults.
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The growth in the market is majorly driven by the increasing prevalence of benign prostatic hyperplasia, increasing obesity, investments, funds, and grants for research in BPH treatment, rising prevalence of prostate cancer, increasing demand for hormone therapy drugs, emerging therapies for prostate cancer, and the increasing incidence of prostatitis.
Obesity leads to several mechanisms such as increased sympathetic nervous activity, altered endocrine status, increased intra-abdominal pressure, increased inflammation process, and oxidative stress, which are favorable conditions for the development of BPH. The incidence of prostate cancer increases with an increase in age. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men. According to the American Cancer Society’s estimates for prostate cancer in 2021, about 248,530 new cases and 34,130 deaths occurred in 2020 due to prostate cancer in the US.
While drugs and surgery can treat BPH, both methods are associated with significant side effects. Medicines commonly used to treat BPH include alpha blockers, 5-ARIs (5-alpha reductase inhibitors), and other drug classes. Common side effects of alpha blockers include dizziness, orthostatic hypotension, retrograde ejaculation, and rhinitis. Dizziness and orthostatic hypotension are of increased concern among the elderly as they can cause significant morbidities such as falls and subsequent injuries.
Finasteride and Dutasteride (among other 5-ARIs) convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. These drugs also reduce the synthesis of several neuroactive steroids, but the modulation of the neuroendocrine stress response may lead to depression. Other side effects of 5-ARIs are gynecomastia, impotence, and decreased libido and ejaculate volume.
The Asia Pacific is home to a large and rapidly growing patient population for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Moreover, the proportion of geriatric individuals (who are at a higher risk for these target indications) in the overall population is expected to increase sharply in the region, especially in Japan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan (Source: US Census Bureau). Considering these factors, prominent and emerging product manufacturers in the prostate health market are increasingly focusing on expanding their businesses across emerging Asia Pacific countries.
BPH is mostly mistaken as an untreatable part of aging rather than a condition that can be treated by visiting the urologist’s office. The lack of awareness about the signs and symptoms of BPH may lead to many men being left undiagnosed, which may further increase the damage caused to the prostate.
Some of the prominent players operating in the prostate health market are Eli Lilly and Company (US), Pfizer Inc. (US), Merck & Co., Inc. (US), GlaxoSmithKline plc. (UK), Abbott (US), and Astellas Pharma Inc. (Japan) and other players.