Heparin, a clinical anticoagulant or blood thinner, is the commonest drug in the world. Mostly derived from pig intestines and bovine lungs it can be categorized into Unfractionated Heparin (UFH), Low Molecular Weight Heparins (LMWH), and ULMWH, which is structurally related to LMWHs. At present, LMWHs are preferred for the treatment of arterial and venous thrombosis. Their sales are slated to go up in the near future because of their reduced side-effects. Their overall market value is slated to reach US$12.3 bn by the end of 2023. Demand from the ULMWHs segment is also predicted to see an upswing because of the increasing preference of these anticoagulants over UFH in dialysis.
The global market for heparin is fragmented in nature with some of the key players having leading shares in different individual segments. The value of the market stood at US$8.2 bn in 2014. Clocking a CAGR of 6.3% from 2015 to 2023, the market is expected to achieve a value of US$14.3 bn by the end of 2023.
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What’s fuelled robust upswing in Europe’s market?
The global market for heparins can be segmented based on regions. Among them, Europe dominates on the back of the rising occurrence of coagulation disorders seen in a rapidly growing geriatric population in the continent. People in such an age group are highly susceptible to venous thromboembolism (VTE) diseases such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). As per the Ageing Report published by the European Commission in 2015, the percentage of population above 65 is predicted to jump from 21.0% in 2013 to 32.0% in 2060. This is expected to bolster the market in the continent in the coming years as well.
Why is synthetic heparin the solution?
The soaring demand for heparin worldwide on the back of growing incidence of coagulation disorders necessitates the use of more effective heparin products. In fact, an alarming number of deaths are said to be caused by coagulation disorders such as venous thromboembolism (VTE) in Europe. The stark figures combined with the commercialization of viable heparin products, such as synthetic heparin, can substantially push up sales in the coming years. A unique selling proposition of synthetic heparin is that its overdose does not negatively impact the patient’s health unlike the low molecular weight heparin. Besides, synthetic heparin is both cheaper and safer than heparin obtained from animals. With regulatory approvals granted to synthetic versions of heparin, the market will receive significant impetus in the coming years.
What would likely crimp growth in market?
Availability of alternative anticoagulants, namely warfarin, coumarins, and oral coagulants are posing a major challenge to the global heparin market. Another factor thwarting growth is the strict quality control measures that have dealt a blow to cheap imports from China, thereby driving up the cost of production of heparin. Increasing price of active pharmaceutical ingredients that have a direct bearing on heparin prices would also likely affect demand.