The global ophthalmic drugs market took a beating from the global economic meltdown of 2008. Over the years, however, it has recovered significantly and going forward, it is slated to see steady growth on account of a burgeoning geriatric population – according to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 65% of visually impaired people in the world are aged 50 or above – and the rising prevalence of eye-related ailments such as glaucoma, refractive error, and cataract.
Ophthalmic drugs or ophthalmic medications include drops, ointments, or intraocular disks that are prescribed to people with eye-related disorders. The two types of drugs available in the market are OTC drugs and prescription drugs. Depending upon the treatment, the market can be segmented into dry eye drugs, retinal drugs, anti-inflammatory or allergy or infective drugs, and anti-glaucoma drugs. Of these, the anti-glaucoma drugs segment dominates the market currently. The global ophthalmic drugs market is predicted to attain a value of US$21.6 bn by 2018.
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Besides burgeoning elderly population and increasing eye-related disorders, what are the other prominent drivers of the market?
The prominent growth drivers in the global ophthalmic drugs market are the spiking instances of eye disorders on account of chronic ailments such as diabetes and a fast-growing geriatric population. Besides, there are other factors too triggering growth. One of them is the substantial technological progress in drug delivery techniques. Another is the growing knowledge about various eye disorders and their cure. A trend noticeable in the market is the increased emphasis on combination therapies of drugs, which entails the use of more than one medication for certain retinal disorders. Combination therapies mainly find application as a first line treatment in patients with high level of intraocular pressure. It requires lesser eye drop application and thereby helps improve patient compliance.
What are the major headwinds for the market?
A slowly recovering global ophthalmic drugs market is expected to encounter a few bottlenecks on its growth trajectory. One of them is the limited awareness about different eye-related disorders, especially in underdeveloped economies. Another restraint is the dearth of sufficient research initiatives for developing novel ophthalmic drugs. Additionally, the global ophthalmic drugs market is slated to see patent expiry of blockbuster drugs in the near future. This will likely negatively impact the overall revenue of key players in the market.
What are the key geographical segments in the market?
North America leads the global ophthalmic drugs market and going forward too, it is likely to hold on to its leading position on account of the numerous initiatives to thwart blindness and cure other eye disorders in the aging population. Asia Pacific is expected to be another crucial geographical segment due to the fast-expanding market in the region in the coming years. This is mainly on account of the rising ophthalmic disorders in the massive elderly population in the region. China and India, among others, are predicted to power the market in Asia Pacific because of the swift uptake of the drugs in the two countries.