The popularity of prescription drugs in ophthalmology needs no specific mention – they are quite easily the more popular medications for majority of ocular conditions. But it is the segment of over-the-counter ophthalmic medicines for ocular conditions such as infections and dry eye that are often the first medicines that a patient uses. According to market analysts, the global ophthalmic drugs market will grow from USD 16 billion in 2012 to USD 21.6 billion in 2018, observing growth at an average CAGR of 5.2% during the next 4-5 years.
The global ophthalmic drugs market is driven by key factors such as rising prevalence of ocular disorders such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, largely affected by the rising percentage of ageing population in the world, and a rising occurrences of lifestyle related issues such as dry-eye disease.
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The rising initiatives from government for improvement of healthcare facilities, especially in the developing economies such as China and India and the technical development in drug delivery techniques are also some reasons that are driving the global ophthalmic drugs market.
However, the market also has its own set of problems that may have a negative impact on its growth, namely the lack of awareness amongst the population about the benefits of early diagnosis, the lack of new formulations in the market, and patent expiry of some major drugs in the market.
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Global Ophthalmic Drugs Market – Segmentation
For the ease of understanding, the global market of ophthalmic drugs can be generally segmented in three major divisions – drugs according to treatments, drugs according to types and the major geographic regions of importance for this industry.
According to the type of treatment, the market can be further segmented as dry eye drugs, anti allergy drugs, retinal drugs and anti-glaucoma drugs. Amongst these, the segment of anti-glaucoma drugs currently has the major shares of demand and is also expected to observe market growth at the fastest pace in the coming years.
Regionally active markets
The US, as well as the overall region of North America, represents the largest market for the ophthalmic drugs industry.
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Asia, as for many other industries, represents one of the major markets for this industry in the near future. The huge base of population in Asian countries such as China and India, a large share of which is getting old, is the major reason behind the enormous growth potential provided by this region for the ophthalmic drugs industry.
Developed regions such as North America and Western Europe also represent major growth opportunities for the region, owing to the rising government efforts for preventing blindness in the aging population.
Major ophthalmic companies from around the world are widening their focus on combination drugs - medications that involve the use of two or more medicines for retinal disorders. Combination drugs have the benefit of going well as first line treatment options for patients with high intraocular pressure. Combination drugs also have advantages over traditional medicines such as reduced need for drug application, improved efficacy and patient compliance.
Presently, the global ophthalmic drugs market is experiencing good growth, albeit it remains constrained due to the lack of new formulas in the market. The Businesses that have the capability of entering new horizons by choosing the path of combination medicines have the capability of significant growth in the future..