Providing new drug delivery for young and old


Good growth rates are predicted for all drug delivery sectors, but those that address the needs of easier self-medication for young and old, and chronic illnesses are likely to be the greatest winners

The drug delivery market grows ever more complex with a wide variety of new formulation technologies and delivery devices entering the market that promise more targeted delivery and better patient compliance. The traditional delivery sectors – oral, pulmonary, injectable, ocular, nasal and topical – have latterly been joined by new transdermal, implantable and transmucosal technologies. Each technology can have specific benefits for particular therapies or population groups, especially where some of the traditional routes (e.g. injectables and oral) have inherent disadvantages, upon which the newer delivery systems can capitalise.

Drug delivery can be viewed in two parts: new formulation technology and device technology. Both have seen increased diversification, with formulation technology moving from plain drug reformulation and release technologies to more effective delivery of biologicals, use of liposomes and nanotechnologies that may enable delivery across previously impassable membranes – such as the blood-brain barrier.

The search for better formulations has been partially driven by patent expiries of certain blockbuster drugs, while the move to new devices that simplify delivery and aid compliance is being fuelled by growing demand for self-administration and home healthcare provision. Rising incidence of chronic diseases – cardiovascular, diabetes and cancer – and growing focus on pediatric and geriatric patients are accelerating the growth of this market. However, a high rate of drug failures and recalls are also a limiting feature.

High growth

MarketsandMarkets (M&M) forecasts the North American drug delivery market to reach US$102.2bn by 2017; valued at $66.7bn in 2012, this means a CAGR of 8.6%. The US registered the highest market share, valued at $59.3bn in 2012 and is expected to grow at a high single digit CAGR for the next four years. The Canadian market is also growing at a decent CAGR of 7.9%, to reach $10.7bn by 2017.

The US Supreme court’s decision to uphold the healthcare reforms is expected to increase substantially the number of insured citizens in the US. This is expected to boost the market for formulations and devices based on novel drug delivery technologies. Further opportunities for the growth of this market include developments of technologies for non-conventional therapeutic applications and for use in a home setting. There is already much greater collaboration of drug delivery and pharmaceutical firms in this area; however, recalls of drug delivery products is one factor that hampered the growth of this market and also raises concerns about the R&D expenditure for development of such products.

Oral technologies offer easier and cost-effective reformulation strategies; hence they occupy the largest share in the market. The North American market for oral drug delivery technologies was estimated at $25.4bn in 2012 and is expected to grow at a healthy CAGR of 8.6% from 2012 to 2017. On the other hand, the pulmonary technologies market is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 11.8%, due to the increased adoption rates of pulmonary devices and their expanding applications. This market is poised to reach $23.1bn by 2017.

With the rising geriatric population of Europe, the demand for home care drug delivery devices is increasing

The European drug delivery market (worth $39.9bn in 2012) is forecast to reach $59.1bn by 2017, according to M&M. Here again oral drug delivery occupied the largest market share and pulmonary drug delivery is the fastest growing segment. Prefilled and fillable syringes, metered dose inhalers, transdermal patches, needle-free injectors, auto and pen injectors are some of the commonly adopted drug delivery technologies in Europe. The use of implantable devices such as cardiac stents and brachytherapy seeds for drug delivery is also seeing increasing adoption rates. With the rising geriatric population of Europe, the demand for home care drug delivery devices is also increasing. Germany is the largest market for drug delivery, followed by France and the UK.

Biologicals boost injectables market

The European injectable drug delivery technologies market (accounting for both devices and formulations) was valued by M&M at $6.8bn in 2012, and is expected to reach $12.4bn by 2017 at a CAGR of 12.7% over that period. This market has seen a recent surge due to the introduction of biologics and development of nanotechnologies. The field of hormonal disorders accounts for the largest segment of the market, owing to the high demand for injectables in the treatment of diabetes. Other factors affecting the growth of the injectable drug delivery technologies market are favourable reimbursement policies on injectable drugs and devices, the rising incidence of cancer and diabetes and efforts to improve patient compliance.

The evolving opportunities in this market for manufacturers include development of biosimilars and growth markets like Spain, Russia, Denmark and Ireland. However, factors such as needle-stick injuries and infections are having a negative impact on this market and development of alternative delivery methods is also restraining growth.

The European injectable drug delivery technologies market has seen a recent surge due to the introduction of biologics and development of nanotechnologies

Germany accounted for the largest market share of the European injectable drug delivery technologies market in 2012, followed by France. While Germany is a mature market experiencing a surge in biologics and high incidence of chronic diseases, France is the fastest-growing region due to high insurance coverage for such devices, and several recent conferences addressing the technology. Spain, Italy and Russia show high export potential for plastic syringes and needles, rising support for the generics market, and increasing expenditure in the healthcare sector. Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Ukraine provide benefits such as a favourable environment for R&D, growth in diabetic expenditures and favourable reimbursement policies for injectable devices.

Implantable devices

In its latest report on Implantable Drug Delivery Devices Transparency Market Research looked at the markets for contraceptives, drug infusion pumps, intraocular implants, drug eluting, bio-absorbable stents and biodegradable products. It estimated that the 2011 global market for implantable drug delivery devices was $11.6bn with a growth forecast of 8.8% CAGR, reaching an estimated value of $21.1bn in 2018.

Introduction of biodegradable implantable drug delivery technologies and new products, such as microchips, will serve as future growth opportunities

This market includes coronary drug eluting stents, bio-absorbable stents, contraceptive delivery devices, intraocular delivery devices, brachytherapy seeds and drug infusion pumps. A growing prevalence of prostate and colorectal cancer, diabetic retinopathy, chronic pain-causing and cardiovascular diseases and a need for long term contraceptive use among an ageing global population are key drivers for implantable devices. Others include government and NGO initiatives undertaken to promote contraceptive drug delivery implants, as well as the rising number of interventional cardiologists and the demand for minimally invasive surgeries. Introduction of biodegradable implantable drug delivery technologies and new products, such as microchips, catering to disease segments such as osteoporosis will serve as future growth opportunities.

Cardiovascular applications held a majority of the market share in 2011 and thanks to the introduction of bio-absorbable stents expected in 2014, its market share is likely to witness a further increase by 2018. The biodegradable drug delivery implant technology will grow at a faster CAGR than the non-biodegradable drug delivery implant technology because the technology obviates surgical device removal and helps to eliminate side effects induced by the prolonged presence of the device in the body.

The North American implantable drug delivery devices market is the largest, but this may change with the accelerated market growth in the Asian regions such as in India and China.

Merck held a majority of the market share in the global contraceptive delivery implants market with its products NuvaRing, Implanon and Implanon Nxt. Bayer HealthCare follows with its IUD Mirena and new Skyla in the US and Jaydess in Europe in 2013.