The North America opioids market size was estimated at USD 14.5 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.8% from 2023 to 2030. The demand for opioids in the North America region has witnessed significant growth over the years, primarily fueled by several factors including the need for managing acute and chronic pain, facilitating post-surgical pain management, and supporting palliative care. Moreover, the increasing incidence of chronic pain conditions, such as cancer-related pain, osteoarthritis, and lower back pain, has significantly contributed to the demand for opioids in the region.The increasing incidence of orthopedic diseases, rise in disposable income, growing geriatric population, and presence of key market players in the region are some of the major factors driving the market growth.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the market influencing demand and altering patterns of usage. The heightened stress, anxiety, and emotional distress experienced during the pandemic contributed to an increased need for pain management medications, including opioids, as individuals endured physical and psychological discomfort. Consequently, there was a sustained or elevated utilization of opioids for pain relief. On the other hand, the pandemic also disrupted healthcare systems and impeded access to medical services, resulting in changes in prescribing practices and patient behavior.
Imposed restrictions on elective surgeries, reduced in-person healthcare visits, and the shift toward telemedicine led to a decrease in new opioid prescriptions and a decline in opioid consumption among patients. The pandemic also highlighted the need for the promotion of safe and limited use of opioid medication among individuals with heightened mental stress. The non-medical utilization and misuse of opioids have a substantial influence on the market. This has resulted in the rise of an opioid crisis due to escalating addiction rates, overdose incidents, and associated fatalities. Consequently, there has been a heightened awareness regarding the risks connected with opioid usage.
In response, regulatory interventions, prescribing guidelines, and public health initiatives have been implemented to address the issue of opioid misuse. This has precipitated a transformation in the demand landscape for opioids in North America, with a greater emphasis on striking a balance between effective pain management and mitigating the risks of addiction and misuse. Healthcare providers and policymakers are increasingly directing their attention toward alternative strategies for pain management, such as non-opioid medications, physical therapy, and behavioral interventions. Moreover, the market has witnessed a growing demand for abuse-deterrent formulations and the development of novel opioid formulations that possess reduced abuse potential or incorporate naloxone, an opioid antagonist used for overdose reversal.
These trends reflect the evolving efforts to address the challenges posed by opioid misuse and underscore the significance of implementing measures to promote safer opioid use and reduce associated harms. Apart from their use as analgesics, opioids are extensively used as cough suppressants and as anti-diarrheal medicines. Opioids include the compounds, which are extracted from poppy seeds as well as synthetic and semisynthetic compounds, which can interact with opioid receptors in the brain to create morphine-like effects. The primary use of opioids is pain relief, including anesthesia. Opioids are also used in anti-diarrheal medicines. Furthermore, the presence of strong drug pipelines with improved and efficacious drugs awaiting their FDA approvals is anticipated to further enhance the adoption of opioid-based medications.
Based on application, the market is further segmented into anesthesia, pain relief, cough suppression, de-addiction, and diarrhea suppression. The pain relief segment has been further sub-segmented into cancer pain, post-operative care, lower back pain, orthopedic, neuropathic, and fibromyalgia. The pain relief segment dominated the market with the largest revenue share in 2022. This can be attributed to the increased demand for opioids for the management of postoperative pain. According to the National Library of Medicine (2020), globally, around 310 million surgeries are performed annually, out of which 40 to 50 million surgeries are performed in the U.S.
Thus, an increasing number of surgical operations, consequently, augment the demand for medicines to manage post-operative pain. The anesthesia segment is estimated to register the fastest growth rate during the forecast period. Intravenous opioids are commonly used to provide analgesia and supplement sedation during general anesthesia. Thus, the increasing practices of anesthesia are anticipated to boost the demand for intravenous opioids, thereby, driving the overall market growth.
Based on product, the market has been segmented into IR/short-acting and ER/long-acting opioids. The ER/long-acting opioids segment dominated the market with the highest revenue share of 53.8% in 2022 and is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR of 1.1% 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.
Some of the commonly prescribed ER/long-acting opioids include oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, fentanyl, morphine, and oxymorphone. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid approved for treating severe chronic pain that arises in advanced-stage cancer patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about six in ten people in the U.S. suffer from chronic diseases, such as cancer, stroke, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. Patients with these chronic diseases witness severe pain, consequently, increasing the demand for extended-release tablets for pain relief. Thus, the rising incidence of chronic diseases is expected to fuel segment growth.
The U.S. dominated the market with the highest revenue share of 95.6% in 2022. The dominance of the country is mainly attributed to the growing elderly population with a higher prevalence of chronic conditions and the increasing approval of opioid-based medicines to meet the rising unmet medical needs in the region. For instance, in May 2020, Hikma Pharmaceuticals launched a generic version of Buprenex, Buprenorphine Hydrochloride Injection; in the U.S. Buprenex is a prescription opioid for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe pain.
This injection helps in severe pain management. It costs around USD 89 for a 5mL solution of injection administrated intravenously. On the other hand, Canada is expected to grow at the fastest growth rate of 1.2% over the forecast period owing to the demand arising from the increasing prevalence of various pain-related conditions, such as cancer-related pain, musculoskeletal disorders, and post-operative pain. In addition, the growing aging population in Canada has further contributed to the demand for opioids.
Major players in the market are adopting strategies, such as mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, and product launches, for regional expansion and an extended reach. For instance, in August 2022, Adalvo Ltd., a multinational pharmaceutical company, announced the acquisition of Onsolis, a branded opioid product from a reputed U.S.-based specialty pharmaceutical company. The product is an opioid analgesic indicated for the management of persistent pain in cancer patients who have previously received and developed tolerance to opioid therapy for their underlying cancer pain. This acquisition strengthened the company’s opioid product portfolio and offers a high growth opportunity in North America. Some of the prominent players in the North America opioids market include:
Purdue Pharma L.P.
Janssen Global Services, LLC
Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
Market size value in 2023
USD 14.95 billion
Revenue forecast 2030
USD 15.3 billion
CAGR of 0.8% from 2023 to 2030
Base year for estimation
2018 - 2021
2023 - 2030
Revenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2023 to 2030
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Product, application, region
Key companies profiled
Purdue Pharma L.P.; Janssen Global Services, LLC; Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC; Pfizer Inc.; AbbVie Inc.; Sanofi; Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.; Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals; Endo Pharmaceuticals; Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
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This report forecasts revenue growth at regional and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest trends in each of the sub-segments from 2018 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the North America opioids market report on the basis of product, application, and region:
Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
Immediate Release/Short-acting Opioids
Extended Release/Long-acting Opioids
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
Lower Back Pain
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
b. The global North America opioids market size was estimated at USD 14.50 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 14.95 billion in 2023.
b. The global North America opioids market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 0.8% from 2023 to 2030 to reach USD 15.2 billion by 2030.
b. The U.S. dominated the North America opioids market with a share of 95.6% in 2022. This is attributable to the surging elderly population with a higher prevalence of chronic conditions.
b. Some key players operating in the North America opioids market include Purdue Pharma L.P., Allergan Plc (Actavis), Pfizer, Inc., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Egalet Corporation.
b. Key factors that are driving the North America opioids market growth include continually growing geriatric population prone to developing incurable and irreversible conditions, the rising penetration of generics coupled with the growing healthcare expenditure levels.
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