Globally, the ophthalmic drugs market is witnessing significant growth due to increasing prevalence of eye disorders such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. As a result, this market is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 5.2% during 2013 – 2018.
Some of the key driving factors for the ophthalmic drugs market are rising prevalence of global aging population, increasing government initiatives towards healthcare infrastructure in developing countries (such as India and China), technological changes in drug delivery technique, and increasing prevalence of lifestyle associated diseases. However, the market faces some restraints such as lack of awareness among people regarding eye disorders, drying pipeline of ophthalmic drugs, patent expiration of blockbuster ophthalmic drugs and absence of health insurance in developing countries.
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North America, including the US has the largest ophthalmic drugs market. Asia is the fastest growing ophthalmic drugs market. Some of the fastest growing markets for ophthalmic drugs are China, India, other countries in South East Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean. As per WHO estimates in 2010, in the next nine years, the number of blind people aged 50 years and above will grow in these regions, thereby increasing the demand for ophthalmic drugs. On the other hand, in developed regions such as North America and Western Europe, rising efforts towards prevention of blindness among the aging population has emerged as a key driver for the market
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Glaucoma has the largest market share in the ophthalmic drugs market and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 4.2% during 2013 – 2018.Various ophthalmic drug companies are increasing their focus on combination therapy, which involves use of more than one medication for specific retinal disorders. Most of these combination therapies are used as first line treatment in patients with high level of intraocular pressure. Combination therapy has various advantages over traditional medication such as reduced frequency of eye drop application, improved patient compliance and efficacy.
Novartis (Alcon) is the leading player in the global ophthalmic drugs market with a share of about 24% in 2012. Other major players of ophthalmic drugs market include Allergan, Santen, Pfizer, Merck and Roche and others.
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