The global antibiotics market is expected to foresee significant growth over the forecast period. An antibiotic is a type of antimicrobial used to treat a number of bacterial infections and to slow down the growth of such infections in the body. The global market for antibiotics is witnessing immense growth due to rising investments in research and development activities along with continuous product innovations by major companies. Rising awareness regarding the advantages of antibiotics, particularly in Asia Pacific, is also likely to drive the market. Companies that accounted for most of this increase were based in regions including China, Brazil, India, Russia, and South Africa.
Product consumption varies significantly in different countries as per demand. Two classes of antibiotic drugs including carbapenems and polymyxins have shown increase in the consumption in past few years and this trend is expected to continue even during the forecast period. Over the past few years, numerous companies have been engaged in product manufacturing and about 79% of the global demand is covered by aminoglycoside. There are various products present in the market such as tetracyclines, penicillin, erythromycin, chloramphenicol, and streptomycin. Factors such as rising demand for effective drugs and increasing prevalence of infectious diseases, especially in emerging economies including Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, are significant growth drivers for the market.
This trend is expected to continue over the next few years. Rising geriatric population is also anticipated to contribute toward the market expansion in the years to come. The main challenge this industry is facing is emergence of drug resistant strains. As in the category of drugs, antibacterial drugs have various unique characteristics, which make them little less profitable and therefore less attractive investments. These drugs are prescribed for short course of time, anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks as compared to the medications for cholesterol and anti-hypertensive patients, which last for several years or decades. Innovation in technical development is the key opportunity for the market. Numerous companies in this field are continually investing to develop new, advanced products in order to increase their product portfolio.
Major attention is focused on research and development of vital but less profitable antibacterial drug for the companies to sell at a premium price. The demand for antibiotics is rising particularly to treat children with pneumonia and sepsis. In most countries, 20% of the product is used by healthcare facilities and hospitals while 80% is used by the community. These are either purchased directly by the consumers or are prescribed by the healthcare providers.
Antibiotics can be classified into seven major classes namely phenicols, quinolones, macrolides, sulfonamides, aminoglycosides, tetracyclines, and beta lactams. Around half of the market share was claimed by beta lactams class in the past. The second largest class was quinolones. However, the market will experience a decline as a result of the adverse effects on sales due to patent expiries. However, fluoroquinolones/quinolones is expected to foresee a significant demand in the market over the forecast period as they are used in treating a large number of infections.
Some of the key companies operating in the global market are Pfizer, Inc.; Abbott Laboratories; GlaxoSmithKline PLC; Daiichii Sankyo Company Limited; Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals LLC; Astellas Pharma, Inc.; Merck & Company, Inc.; Roche Holding AG; Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; GlaxoSmithKline Plc; Pliva d.dd; Toyama Chemica Co. Ltd.; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. Ltd.; Johnson & Johnson; LG Life Sciences Limited; and Eli Lilly and Co. Pfizer Inc. contributed to the largest share in the past, followed by GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Merck & Company, Inc. With very few patented products available at present, generic manufacturers are leading the global market for antibiotics.
Research Support Specialist, USA