COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has affected the day-to-day life of people and has slowed down the economies worldwide. The pandemic has affected millions of people who either got sick or died due to the spread of this disease. Within a few months, coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which originated from China, became a pandemic, with more than 30 million people being infected till date.
There are now numerous vaccines in use. The first mass vaccination program commenced in early December 2020, and as of 15 February 2021, 175.3 million vaccine doses have been administered.
There is an added complexity because of COVID-19 diagnosis in cancer patients, particularly while on active treatment with immunotherapy like nivolumab. COVID-19 could cause more harm to cancer patients. In order to prevent the infection from spreading, the patient’s number and new diagnosis have been less during the COVID 19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems, and the world of work. Still, there is an increase in the demand for cancer treatment with immunotherapy drugs like nivolumab during the second quarter of 2020 with the rise in awareness regarding health and new product launches in countries.
STRATEGIC DECISIONS BY MANUFACTURERS
To deal with the COVID-19 outbreak challenges and increasing demand for the drugs, many market players are creating new strategies such as new product development, telemedicine, and a different program to support patients and to raise their sales. It is predicted that these strategies are anticipated to escalate up the company revenue and its growth in the forecasted period. The government has provided drug FDA approvals of nivolumab for the treatment of cancer.
· In May 2020, Bristol Myers Company announced that Opdivo (nivolumab) 3 mg/kg plus Yervoy (ipilimumab) 1 mg/kg (injections for intravenous use) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the first-line treatment of adult patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
· There are several ongoing potentially registrational studies that have been conducted by different manufacturing companies for Opdivo for the treatment of different tumor types and disease areas, in combination with various anti-cancer agents
· Also, there are various ongoing clinical trials conducting on nivolumab with the combination of various anti-cancer agents and others to treat various types of cancer to decrease the demand for cancer treatment and to provide patients with more advanced drugs.
· In Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, ONO pharmaceuticals are co-developing this drug nivolumab with the Bristol Myers Company
IMPACT ON DEMAND
Global economic development in 2020 has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 has given rise to risks such as a prolonged, significant decline in global demand as well as unfavorable geopolitical and macroeconomic effects.
The coronavirus pandemic has provoked many strategical actions among healthcare providers on how to manage cancer patients when faced with the threat of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.
There has been a decrease in demand for nivolumab in some countries like the U.S., whereas many countries have seen an increase in sales with the rise in demand for the treatment and new cancer patients. With the rise in demand for the drug, FDA has provided approval to various drugs related to the immunotherapy nivolumab.
· For the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, the U.S. revenues of nivolumab decreased to 9% in 2020 due to lower demand caused by declining second-line eligibility across tumor indications and lower demand from COVID-19 (primarily lower new patient starts and patient visits). The U.S. has seen a decrease in sales in the first quarter of 2020.
· However, the international revenues for nivolumab were increased up to 7% in 2020 due to higher demand as a result of additional indication launches in some countries with rising cancer patients globally.
· In May 2021 -- Bristol-Myers Squibb Company has today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved their Opdivo (nivolumab, injection for intravenous use) for the adjuvant treatment of completely resected esophageal or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer.
· Similarly, FDA has approved Opdivo (nivolumab) for treating different types of cancer in many countries via various market players due to the rise in demand for this drug.
IMPACT ON PRICE
COVID-19 is significantly decreasing commercial activity in every area of the business sector. The economy has been decreased during the pandemic with the restricted and disrupted supply and sales of products and devices.
The cost of medication and treatment of nivolumab has been increased due to the increasing demand for this drug during COVID-19. This contributed to the increased expenses and prices of immunotherapy drugs.
Changes in the economy and other factors have caused consequences, including the decrease in the sales of the drug in some countries such as the U.S. With the rise of COVID-19 and decrease in new patients has also contributed to the increased cost and priced of some products and medication.
· The price of Opdivo (nivolumab) drug which is a most common therapy treatment for various type of cancer or tumor have been increased to USD 1,172 for a supply of 4 milliliters of injection in 2020 with the rise in demand and increasing patients population in the second quarter of 2020.
IMPACT ON SUPPLY CHAIN
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed many organizations’ business environments; supply availability has been hampered by a number of issues, including export and travel restrictions by some producing countries, and the lockdown has forced suppliers to (temporarily) shut down. The supply of nivolumab medication has a slight decrease in sales during the first quarter of 2020, partly due to negative factors mentioned above in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, which particularly didn’t affect the overall yearly revenue.
The pandemic and COVID-19 have affected every business activity in which the supply chain was affected the most. Because of the pertinacious COVID-19 lockdown, sanctions have been forced by administrations of different nations. These limitations and boundaries across the nation’s borders prompted a diminishing stockpile because of restricted materials and labor force and the halting of the assembly line.
The supply chain and demand were positively affected by the COVID 19. The sales and supply of the drugs have been increased with the rise in demand for the drugs and diagnosis. Many major manufacturing companies have launched their drugs in different countries to fulfill the demand, and the government has provided approval for the sales of the drug nivolumab.
Despite the pandemic, many market player of nivolumab has increased their sales globally. This is due to the ongoing increase in the patient population and rising awareness regarding their health.
· The sales of ONO pharmaceuticals have been increased in the year 2020 as compared to 2019, which is 2656.05 USD Million in 2019 and 2809.23 USD million.
· Similarly, sales of the drug Opdivo (Nivolumab) from the manufacturing company Bristol Myers Squibb Company have been increased globally (except the U.S.) from USD 2,860 million in 2019 to USD 3,047 million in 2020. This increase in sales in both of the major market players is due to the increase in cancer patients and the use of drugs in all areas of cancer.
There is an increase in the sales of this nivolumab with the rise in prevalence of disease and early diagnosis & treatment.
As the pandemic of COVID-19 resulted in several restrictions throughout the borders, still, manufacturers and market players were able to manage their sales and revenue of oncology and drug nivolumab. Various manufacturers allowed their workers to work in a clean and safe environment so as to boost up the production at various manufacturing facilities across several regions of the world, thus, helping them to maintain a continuous supply chain with the increasing demand.
Market players have come up with better strategies which have also created a positive impact on the growth of the nivolumab market globally.