A recent report reveals that the needle-free drug delivery devices market stood at US$4.21 billion worldwide in 2012, and will soar to US$10.93 billion by 2019. This translates into a CAGR of 14.6% for the global needle-free drug delivery devices market. What are the factors that will impel this increasing adoption of needle-free drug delivery devices? Which applications will see the fastest growth in terms of value? This article discusses answers to these questions, and more.
Needle-free drug delivery devices: Taking the pain out of medication
Traditionally, drugs have been administered either orally, via inhalation, topically, or through injections. However, the latter has been a cause of discomfort and pain for many patients. To address this issue, research on needle-free drug delivery started around the 1940s, but did not gather steam until the last decade or so.
Needle-free drug delivery devices, as the name indicates, are used for delivering drugs sans a needle penetrating the patient’s skin. Besides being less painful, this method can be used for delivery an array of drugs. The active delivery of drugs can be carried out via numerous needle-free drug delivery devices such as: electroporation, ultrasound, jet injectors, iontophoresis, powder injection, and tape stripping. A needle-free drug delivery device is bioequivalent to a needle fitted to a syringe, except that it causes little or no pain as compared to the former.
The adoption of needle-free drug delivery devices is largely driven by their pain-free or low-pain attributes, and their ease of use as compared to other comparable devices.
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Segments and niches within the needle-free drug delivery devices market: A inside view
The overall market for drug delivery devices that do not use needles can be segmented on the type of technology used and the application. For the purpose of studying this market more closely, market research firms typically also segment the market according to geographical region – and provide insight into which segment will grow the fastest.
Technologically, the needle-free drug delivery devices market is sub-segmented as competing needle-free technologies and jet injectors. The former forks out into: inhaler technology, transdermal patch drug delivery, and needle-free novel technology.
Besides technology, the market can also be segmented on the basis of applications. Chief applications of needle-free drug delivery devices are: vaccine delivery (to develop immune response), pediatric injections, insulin delivery, pain management, and other classes.
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Which segments will show promising growth in the future?
According to the findings of a recent market study by a U.S.-based market intelligence firm, the fastest-growth in the needle-free drug delivery devices market will be reported by jet injectors (under the technology segment) from 2013 through 2019. Jet injectors will be used widely because both medical practitioners and patients are wary of the transmission of viruses and infections via needle-stick injuries.
However, the situation was rather different in 2012, when the largest recorded segment within the needle-free drug delivery technologies market was that of competing needle-free technology segment. It gained immense popularity because of the ease of use it offered without invading the patient’s skin. Besides, it was, and continues to be, time-saving and cost-effective.
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On the other hand, applications that created the most promising opportunities in 2012 were needle-free drug delivery for pain management and insulin administration. A surge in the number of diabetics worldwide led to the increased use of needle-free drug delivery devices. However, the coming years will be favorable for the growth of the needle-free pediatric injections application, where massive R&D efforts are being undertaken to make drug administration comfortable and pain-free for children.
Companies to watch out for in the needle-free drug delivery devices market
The global market for needle-free drug delivery devices is dominated by a handful of players such as: Glide Pharmaceutical Technologies Ltd., Antares Pharma, Inc., 3M, Pharmajet, Injex Pharma AG, and Zogenix, Inc.