Pharmaceutical Companies Predict Further Growth as Osteoarthritis Injection Prescription Area Broadens

Pharmaceutical Companies Predict Further Growth as Osteoarthritis Injection Prescription Area Broadens

Pharmaceutical companies predict that the prescription area for osteoarthritis injections will expand as the population ages. The market for intra-articular injections has already grown to 200 billion won per year and is expected to continue growing. In October, several new treatment materials for intra-articular injection are set to be listed, which will be available in hospitals and clinics.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare recently decided to apply some amendments to the list of reimbursement/non-reimbursement of treatment materials and the upper limit of benefits, which includes the registration of treatment materials for intra-articular injection. This is expected to lead to increased utilization of intra-articular injection as a complementary therapy for patients with degenerative arthritis.

According to the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, the number of patients with degenerative arthritis in Korea is close to 3.8 million. The market is currently dominated by Pharma Research's Conjuran, but new products are being introduced, and competition is expected to become more intense.

Several new treatment materials for intra-knee injection, containing polynucleotide sodium and lidocaine hydrochloride, will be listed on a large scale as a latecomer item from October. Among the 14 new items that will be newly listed are BMI Korea LILIED K, JOINFULL, KORYEO Q JURAN, NEXPHARMPN, CARTILAN, Shin Poong PNP SHINPOONGPN, NEOPN, POLYCAINE, POLYNUCAINE, FORKNEERAN, ASLAN, PIENJU, HIJURAN, and CONSLAN CONSULRAN.

Latecomers listed in October will be subject to the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the HIRA's guidelines, which state that knee joint injection is a selective benefit, and 80% of the patient's own burden (20% of health insurance) is covered by health insurance for up to 5 times within 6 months.

According to the director of Gyeonggi-do A Clinic, who served as an executive of the Neurosurgeon Society, joint cavity injections were initially approved for their regenerative and stimulating effect on pressure ulcers. Since then, they have been shown to be effective for ligament damage and osteoarthritis and are now widely used in hospitals and clinics.

He explained that the fact that joint cavity injections are a selective benefit at a patient-borne rate of 80% means that the government recognizes the treatment effect. With the population aging, the market for osteoarthritis injections is expected to continue growing, and the competition among pharmaceutical companies is set to become even more intense.