Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Male HPV Market Size

A few weeks back, Pharmalyst had blogged on Gardasil's potential revenues among the 6th grade female students in the US (given various statewide HPV vaccination mandate efforts). So naturally Pharmalyst was intrigued when Pharmalot had this very interesting post regarding Merck's marketing efforts focusing on male college students.

Pharmalyst wondered what the potential market size for US males in the age range 18 to 24 might be. Based on the analysis below, Pharmalyst estimates that Merck stands to make approximately 148 million each year from 18-24 males in the US.

We know from the US census figures, that the number of males in the 18-24 age range is projected to be 14.543 million (2005 projections). Of these 14.543 million men, what percentage are likely to sign up for an HPV vaccine absent any mandates? Pharmalyst thinks that the percentage will be relatively low (given that they are taking this vaccine not for their own benefit but for the benefit of their current future spouse/girlfriends).

Given that Pharmalyst doesn't have access to fancy market research data like Merck does, I wondered if a proxy metric could be found. One thought that occurs to Pharmalyst is that perhaps the percentage of US males who undertake something like say vasectomy may be a reasonable proxy metric to estimate the % of males likely to sign up for HPV. The actual figure will probably be somewhat lower given that these are mostly young men not in a committed relationship(though with DTC, Merck will make it cool for males to sign up).

If the above assumptions re proxy metrics are somewhat reasonable, where might one get them? The UN and WHO have some excellent 2005 world contraceptive use stats here (data in excel format can be downloaded at the bottom). Based on this fascinating data, there are 37.550 million women aged 15-49 who are in some sort of a union in the US. Out of this, 70.5% use modern contraceptive methods (26.47 million). 13.2% involve male sterlization (4.96 milion). So 4.96/26.47 can be estimated as the % of men who will sign up for the HPV vaccine. This works out to 18.7% or 2.61 million males in age group 18-24 based on census figures. At $400 per course that works out to a cool 1.044 billion dollars. Note that this is not an annual revenue figure; once the 18-24 set is vaccinated, then one can only expect 18.7% of men who just turned 18 to get vaccinated every year. If the 2.61 million is evenly distributed among 18-24, then this works out to .37 million new males per year or $148 million each year in anualized revenues to Merck from this customer segment (US males aged 18 to 24).

Pharmalyst really really welcomes your comment and critique of this analysis. Please let me know if you can identify a better proxy metric to estimate % of 18-24 men likely to sign up for an HPV vaccine.

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