According to a new Pharmacor report the global market for cancer pain drugs, driven by the continued dominance of novel opioids, will soar from $2.3bn in 2008 to $3.7bn by 2018.

The new Decision Resources report entitled “Cancer Pain” claims that the market segment for breakthrough pain drugs will increase by more than 15% per year over the next five years, mostly on the back of opioids such as immediate-release morphine and other fast-acting reformulations.

This growth, which will be most visible in the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and Japan will also be spurred on by the release of several new anticipated treatments, including Cephalon‘s Fentora/Effentora and Prostrakan/Kyowa Hakko Kirin’s Abstral.

The report, however, states that older opioids such as immediate-release morphine will continue to dominate as a breakthrough cancer pain treatment, mostly due to available generics and physician familiarity.

Decision Resources analyst Janie Mackay said that despite the launch of several novel therapies for breakthrough cancer pain, immediate-release traditional opioids will continue to dominate treatment.

“However, we do anticipate that fast-acting fentanyl reformulations will enjoy significant uptake in the breakthrough pain market segment,” Mackay said.

The report also points to the rise of two new super drugs over the next ten years, Amgen‘s Prolia and Pfizer’s tanezumab, which are expected to seize a significant share in the cancer pain market.