The North America Opioid Market was valued at USD 12.4 billion in 2015 and is expected to witness growth at a CAGR of 4.6% over the forecast period. The continually growing geriatric population prone to developing incurable and irreversible conditions is boosting the demand for pain management therapies in the market.
Apart from their use as analgesics, the opioids are extensively used as cough suppressants and as anti-diarrheal medicines. A high incidence of abuse attached to the use of opioid medication is a crucial factor driving their sales output. In addition, other factors including the rising penetration of generics coupled with the growing healthcare expenditure levels in the North America region is expected to provide a profitable growth platform to this sector over the forecast period. Furthermore, the presence of a strong drug pipelines with improved and efficacious drugs awaiting their FDA approvals is anticipated to further enhance the usage rates.
Pain relief medicines are dominated by the non-opioid, Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) since they do not carry the risk of developing drug dependency. However, NSAIDs fail to effectively relieve pain when used over a long period of time as these drugs are typically characterized by a ceiling effect. As a result, narcoticsare preferred over NSAIDs for long-term treatment of pain management. Long-acting narcotic drugs, such as buprenorphine, fentanyl, and morphine, are widely used in the management of acute as well as chronic pain, which often necessitate long-term treatment.
In 2010, as per the Affordable Care Act program, healthcare reforms were introduced in the U.S assuring greater attention and increased funding, to specifically address issues surrounding effective pain management. It includes proper training of healthcare professionals involved in pain management along with the development of an improved infrastructure to carry out research and development activities that are targeting pain management therapeutics.
The rise in the number of palliative care centers and home healthcare services is also expected to spur the demand for these drugs. In addition, the significant growth in the number of trauma cases and road accidents coupled with the soaring number of surgical procedures is propelling the demand for narcotics-based pain management solutions.
U.S. Opioid Market, By Application, 2013 - 2024 (USD Million)
The market comprises various drugs that are used majorly for pain management. The extended-release (ER)/long-acting opioids segment dominated the overall market in 2015 with a revenue share of 55.07% and are expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 6.5% over the forecast period.
Major determinants responsible for the growth of this segment include the presence of a strong drug pipeline including drugs, such as Hydrocodone bitartrate ER tablets from Purdue Pharma L.P. Furthermore, the high prices attached to the ER formulations and the greater market penetration of the pain management and anesthesia drugs are the factors influencing the segment growth.
Presence of generic narcotics and the increasing cases of drug abuse involving drugs, such as codeine and morphine, are anticipated to limit the growth of the immediate-release drug forms.
Indications involved in opioid management are pain relief, anesthesia, cough suppression, diarrhea suppression, and de-addiction. The pain relief category dominated the application segment with a revenue generation of over USD 8.3 billion in 2015. Anesthesia, on the other hand, is estimated to grow at a lucrative growth rate of 5.4% till 2024.
The cancer pain segment held the largest share of the pain relief segment. The presence of cancer pain specific drugs, such as OxyContin, coupled with the burgeoning incidence rates of cancer are factors contributing towards the large market share.
The U.S. dominated the North America Opioid Market with a revenue share of 95.7% in 2015. The dominance of the country is mainly attributed to the surging elderly population with a higher prevalence of chronic conditions.
Despite the strict regulations enforced by the government for controlling opiate drug abuse, the prescription sales of these drugs have been experiencing a steep growth in the past few years. However, the ban levied on the sales of the opioid-containing OTC products in the region is hampering the growth of the vertical.
Competitive Market Share Insights
Some of the key players of this industry include Purdue Pharma L.P., Allergan Plc (Actavis), Pfizer, Inc., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Egalet Corporation. A few strategic mergers and acquisitions have also been witnessed in the industry. For instance, in March 2016, Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc acquired Roxane laboratories, Inc. and Boehringer Ingelheim Roxane, Inc. This acquisition brought together two big generic pharmaceuticals aiming to expand their product line and their combined geographic presence in the U.S.
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