Decision Resources, Waltham, Mass, a research and advisory firm for pharmaceutical and health care issues, completed a new report evaluating the pharmaceutical market for fibromyalgia drugs, stressing the opportunity for a drug that improves sleep quality of patients.

The report, titled Fibromyalgia: Polypharmacy Strategies Will Remain the Norm, Leaving Significant Opportunity for Therapies Effectively Targeting One or More Symptom Domains, finds that a fibromyalgia drug that improves sleep quality more than Pfizer’s Lyrica would earn a 38% patient share in the United States and a 30% patient share in Europe due to its efficacy, safety and tolerability, and delivery. However, US and European physicians expect to use such a drug primarily as a second- or later-line therapy, according to Decision Resources, while they continue to prescribe Lyrica, Eli Lilly/Boehringer Ingelheim’s Cymbalta/Xeristar/Ariclaim, or amitriptyline as first-line treatment options.

The report also concludes that while some fibromyalgia drugs in development hold promise, most have efficacy, safety and tolerability, and/or delivery issues.

“Only one emerging therapy—Jazz Pharmaceuticals/UCB’s sodium oxybate (JZP-6)—is expected to obtain labeling for fibromyalgia during the study period, but its disadvantages in safety and tolerability and, to a lesser extent, delivery, preclude it from achieving Decision Resources’ clinical gold-standard status in this market in the future,” states the report.

“Decision Resources’ proprietary drug comparator model reveals that current US fibromyalgia-approved drugs such as Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Forest Laboratories/Cypress Bioscience’s Savella perform similarly across measures of efficacy, safety and tolerability, and delivery. However, Lyrica’s status as the first drug approved for fibromyalgia has ensured its position as the patient share leader,” said Decision Resources’ analyst Andrea Buurma.