Since penicillin was first discovered in 1928, the use of antibacterial drugs has consistently risen. So much so, that the global antibacterial drugs market in 2014 stood at US$43.9 bn. Transparency Market Research predicts in its study that the global antibacterial drugs market will, however, decline in value to US$38.9 bn by 2023. Used in both animals and humans, antibacterial drugs either prevent bacteria from reproducing or kill them entirely, thus diluting their ability to cause infections. Antibacterial drugs achieve this by directly targeting various physiological functions of bacteria, such as the synthesis of cell wall, proteins, or nucleic acid.
Today, it is possible to treat various infections and diseases caused by bacteria, such as tetanus, tuberculosis, diarrhea, pneumonia, diphtheria, and legionellosis. While numerous local and global trends are influencing the growth of the global antibacterial drugs market, some of them are more high-impact than the others. Let’s take a look at the three most defining trends in the global antibacterial drugs market and their impact on its growth:
1. β-Lactams Most Dominant Type of Antibacterial Drug Class in the World
The most commonly used antibacterial drug classes worldwide are β-Lactams, tetracyclines, macrolides, sulfonamides, phenicols, aminoglycosides, quinolones, and miscellaneous antibacterials. Nearly 58% of the market was held by β-Lactams in 2014. The use of quinolones was high as well, but not as widespread as compared to β-Lactams. The quinolones segment constituted 17% of the antibacterial drugs market in 2014. In fact, the use of quinolones is declining year on year, and market analysts expect that this segment will show a negative compounded annual growth rate between 2015 and 2023.
2. Aging Population is Biggest Opportunity for Companies in Antibacterial Drugs Market
A quick look at the sheer number of people entering the geriatric population group is enough to gauge what will drive the growth of the antibacterial drugs market in the near future. The National Institute on Aging (U.S.) states that aged people will represent a remarkable 16% of the world’s population in 2050. This means that the world will have 1.5 bn people above 65 years of age. As fertility declines and a parallel trend in the form of the increased longevity of people emerges, it is inevitable that nearly every country will see a notable rise in the number of aged citizens. From the standpoint of the antibacterial drugs market, the aging population will cause a spike in the demand for miscellaneous antibacterials – a segment that’s projected to show the highest CAGR in the antibacterial drugs market worldwide.
3. Patent Expiries Could Erode Profitability of Leading Antibacterial Drug Brands, Slowing Market Growth
The main reasons for the lackluster growth of the antibacterial drugs market will be the expiration of patents of leading drug name brands. While this will see more generics enter the space, the profitability of patented drugs will receive a blow. The larger impact of this, naturally, will be felt in the form of an unimpressive market growth rate. The other important factor at play in the antibacterial drugs market is the growing number of bacterial strains that are resistant to existing drug formulations. This will prompt companies to launch new R&D programs to either maintain or regain a competitive edge in the global antibacterial drugs market.
However, the scheduled commercialization of a number of antibacterial agents in the coming years is expected to augur well for the growth of the antibacterial drugs market. Some of these formulations include solithromycin (Cempra, Inc.), surotomycin (Merck & Co.), MK-3415A (Merck & Co.), and VivaGel (SPL7013) (Starpharma Holdings Limited).
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