The global prescription drugs market is estimated to augment at a CAGR of 4.34% increasing from USD924.028 billion in 2019 to reach USD1192.536 billion by the end of 2025.
Prescription drugs are more potent in comparison to the over the counter (OTC) drugs. Hence, their inappropriate use may lead to serious side effects. These medicines are handed over to the customers on the basis of doctor’s prescription only. One might have noticed on the doctor’s prescription notepads and signs in most of the pharmacies, the symbol Rx, this is the symbol for medical prescription. The growing global pharmaceutical spending will put a significant impact on fueling the market growth during the forecast period. One of the main drivers include the high cost of specialty medicines, and growing use of medical treatments. The prevalence of rare disorders is further propelling the market demand during the forecast period. The increasing number of chronic diseases worldwide is further continuing to increase the sales of prescription drugs in the forecast period. The growing number cancer incidences worldwide is propagating the market growth during the forecast period. The novel coronavirus pandemic scenario has put a positive impact on fueling the market growth in 2020, it is however, at a lower growth rate than the previous year. The market for prescription drugs will further proliferate with the research and development investments among companies for manufacturing innovative drugs. Hence, the presence of pipeline drugs indicates that a greater number of drugs are capable of gaining commercialization in near future, further providing an opportunity for the market to thrive during the forecast period. Furthermore, the growing number of elderly individuals worldwide has significantly raised strong market growth prospects in the forecast period. The developed regions of the world, particularly, North America is projected to hold a significant market share in the global prescription drugs market. On the other hand, the Asia Pacific region is accounted to be among the fastest-growing regions mainly due to the prevalence of a large population base requiring treatments. In addition, significant investments on improving healthcare infrastructure with better health facilities are further providing an opportunity for the market to propel during the forecast period.
The market, on the basis of type is categorized as generics, orphan drugs, and other prescription drugs. By application, the global prescription drug market is segregated as diabetes, oncology, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, and others. By distribution channel, the market is segmented into hospital pharmacy, drug stores & retail pharmacy, and online pharmacy.
The use of generics as prescription medicines and companies offering generic drugs are further providing an impetus in propelling the market growth in the forecast period. One of the leaders in generics, Teva Pharmaceuticals states that in the United States of America, the company is the pioneer in generic pharmaceuticals. In the US, one out of each nine drugs prescribed is filled by a Teva products. In the United Kingdom, it is observed that one out of six individuals are prescribed Teva generics. Additionally, other companies manufacturing prescription medicines utilize Teva pharmaceuticals active pharma ingredients. One of the benefits provided by the generic medicines include that it is quite affordable for patients in comparison to the branded drugs. It is noticed on a wide scale that generic medicines, on an average, cost in between 80 to 85% less than the branded drugs. In the USA, generic medicines are accountable to hold around 90% of the total prescribed medicines. In Germany, it is accounted to hold around 78%.
The growing chronic diseases worldwide is propagating the market growth in the forecast period.
It has been observed on a wide scale that there is a significant rise in the global chronic disease burden. One of the major reasons include growing urbanization and adoption of unhealthy living conditions. Also, the growing geriatric population worldwide is contributing to the growth of age-associated diseases, augmenting the chronic disease growth, further fueling the market growth in the forecast period. Diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes are some of the chronic diseases. The rising incidences of cancer are further providing an impetus is fueling the market growth in the forecast period. As per the World Health Organization, 2018, information, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world. It is accounted for holding 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Also, around one in six deaths in the world occur due to cancer. The most common cancers include lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, and stomach cancer. The total number of new cases in 2018 have grown to 18.1 million.
As per the global analysis by the organization, in 2018, Europe accounted for holding 23.4% share in the global total number of cancer cases. While, it accounted for holding 20.3% of share in global cancer deaths. Americas, accounted for holding a share of 21% in global cancer incidence, while, it held 14.4% share in global cancer mortality. Asia accounted to hold a share of 48.4% in global cancer incidences, while, it held a share of 57.3% in global cancer deaths. Africa held a share of 5.8% in the global cancer incident cases, while it accounted to hold a share of 7.3% in the global cancer deaths.
The growing prevalence of cardiovascular diseases are further contributing to the sales of prescription drugs, fueling the market growth in the forecast period. As per the CDC, cardiovascular diseases comprising disorders of heart and blood vessels is ranked as the number one cause of death and disability globally. The major risk factor for this disease include high blood pressure or hypertension attributed to causing a predicted 10 million deaths globally every year. Several initiatives such as global hearts initiative is taken for improving prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases worldwide. This is for the reduction of premature deaths occurring from heart diseases.
The advent of specialty drugs is predicted to enhance the sales of prescription drugs at a high CAGR during the forecast period.
Specialty medicines are prescription drugs that are either non-diabetic self-administered injectable drug or a medication require special handling, administration, or monitoring. It is a high cost medication. These medications are consumed for the treatment of patients suffering from complicated, rare or ultra-rare disorders. These further require high-touch patient care and monitoring services, for example, while handling transplant and hepatitis cases. The prevalence of rare diseases is contributing to increasing the popularity of specialty medications, further raising the market growth prospects in the forecast period. As per the Orphanet database, it is estimated that there are more than 300 million individuals in the world are known to be living with one or more than 6000 identified rare diseases. Orphanet is a platform providing information on rare diseases for the improvement of diagnosis, treatment, and care of patients suffering from rare diseases. It was established in France by the INSERM in 1997, an initiative that was supported by funding from the European Commission. Orphanet grew to a consortium of 40 countries within the European region and across the world. It is estimated that rare diseases account to affect only a handful of individuals worldwide, but when taken together, the total number of people affected by rare diseases is equal to the population of the third largest country globally. These diseases, at present, is known to affect in between 3.5% to 5.9% of the population in the world. The rare genetic diseases account for holding a share of 72% while others are associated with infections, allergies, and environmental causes, or are degenerative and proliferative. In the European region, rare disease affects less than 1 in 2000 individuals.
Specialty medicines include bio-based drug products also that are structurally similar to the compounds inside the human body. The shift in focus towards the development of new biological drugs is mainly attributed to the growing need for development of targeted treatments, which were previously unavailable. This has further resulted in the development of personalized medicine while treating a disease. A biological drug is a large complex molecule that is capable of interacting with a patient’s biology. On the other hand, small molecule drugs work in the form of inhibitors that disrupt a process related to a particular disease. This is mainly due to the fact that these small molecules are capable of penetrating into the cells and hence, with the potential of off-target interactions, there are side-effects. While, a large molecule, a biological drug is designed in a manner so that it is capable of binding to specific targets, further targeting molecular processes in comparison to small molecule drugs. Thus, the development of biological drugs will further contribute to promote the market growth during the forecast period. As such developments are capable of bringing in transformation in the disease treatments.