Antibiotics are a group of medicines used in the treatment of infections caused by germs-bacteria and certain parasites-by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms or killing them. Antibiotics are also known as antibacterials or antimicrobials. Since the discovery of the antibiotic penicillin in 1920, various antibiotic compounds have been used to treat several bacterial infections. Increase in incidence of chronic and infectious diseases across the globe and efficacy of antibiotics to treat a wide spectrum of bacterial infections have led to the rapid growth of the global antibiotics market.
The global antibiotics market is driven by the development of novel approaches for new antibiotics for treating bacterial infections and a large number of clinical trials. Additionally, increase in incidence of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, malaria, and tuberculosis, and the current gap in the demand and supply of antibiotics are the other factors propelling the market. Substantial investments in research and development by biotech companies is anticipated to augment the global antibiotics market. Moreover, favorable government legislations such as the Generating Antibiotics Incentives Now (GAIN) Act offer an impetus to research and development processes, creating exciting opportunities for market players.
However, the indiscriminate and sustained use of antibiotics in the last few decades has led to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and pathogens. Infections such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, which were initially susceptible to antibiotics, have become immune to these drugs. The market, however, is anticipated to witness significant growth due to the discovery of advanced molecules and novel combination therapies to treat antibiotic-resistant microbial infections.
The global antibiotics market can be segmented based on drug class, route of administration, distribution channel, and region. In terms of drug class, the global market can be classified into aminoglycosides, beta-lactams, macrolides, phenicols, quinolones/fluoroquinolones, tetracycline, sulfonamides, and others. Beta-lactams can be categorized into penicillin, carbapenems, and cephalosporin. Growth of the beta-lactams segment can be attributed to rapidly growing antibacterial resistance, need of new broad spectrum of agents, and need to control infection in health care settings. Based on route of administration, the global antibiotics market can be divided into oral, topical, sublingual, inhalation, and intravenous. In terms of distribution channel, the global market can be classified into hospital pharmacies, retail pharmacies, and online pharmacies. Growth of the online pharmacies segment can be attributed to focus of e-commerce companies on the pharmaceutical sector to provide medication to customers at doorstep and ease of buying medication online.
In terms of region, the global antibiotics market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific accounted for the leading share of the global market in 2017. The region is likely to present significant opportunities during the forecast period due to prevalence of various infectious diseases, favorable regulatory reforms, increase in population & unhygienic conditions giving rise to antibiotic resistance bacteria, and significant demand for generic medicines.
A large number of players have been focusing on new drug development and clinical trials. Prominent biotechnology companies are entering into strategic alliances, which has helped them make considerable investments in drug discovery. Pharmaceutical companies are developing analogues of existing antibiotic classes based on innovative approaches to fight bacterial infections.
Key players operating in the global antibiotics market include AstraZeneca plc, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Bayer HealthCare AG, The Menarini Group, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Eli Lilly and Company, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Inc., Novartis AG, Sanofi, and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
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