Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea. It tends to infect urethra, vagina, anus, and other sexual organs; even eye or throat area may be affected sometimes. Gonorrhea passes from one person to another due to unprotected sexual practices or persons who have multiple sexual partners.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that the global incidence of gonorrhea increased from 87.7 million in 2005 to 106.1 million in 2008. An article published by Newman et al (2015) estimated the global prevalence of gonorrhea at 0.8% among women aged 15 years to 49 years and 0.6% among men in the same age group in 2012. Rise in new cases of gonorrhea, public awareness about the disease, high rate of diagnosis, high risk of complications, novel therapeutic options, and government regulations about antibiotic uses are the major drivers of the global gonorrhea therapeutics market. However, antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea is a growing concern among physicians.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two types of therapy for gonorrhea: mono therapy (single dose of 2g oral azithromycin) and dual therapy (single dose of 250 mg of ceftriaxone and 1g of azithromycin). Babies born to mothers with gonorrhea receive a medication in their eyes immediately after birth. Based on therapy, the global gonorrhea therapeutics market can be segmented into mono therapy and dual therapy. In terms of route of administration, the market can be categorized into enteral, parenteral, and topical.
Based on distribution channel, the global gonorrhea therapeutics market can be classified into hospital pharmacies, retail pharmacies, and online sales. The numbers of retail pharmacies are increasing with the growing number of registered pharmacists who can dispense antibacterial drugs for gonorrhea treatment. On the other hand, the hospital pharmacies witness small growth in revenue due to the consolidations (joint venture, merger and acquisitions) among hospitals.
The global gonorrhea therapeutics market can be segmented into five major regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. According to the CDC, around 468,514 cases of gonorrhea were reported in the U.S. in 2016, with a rate of 145.8 cases per 100,000. More significantly, the disease is not prevalent in any specific age group. Ontario, Canada reported 30% increase in gonorrhea affected patients between 2013 and 2015. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) indicated that 66,413 cases of gonorrhea were registered in Europe in 2016. The same organization also revealed that the U.K., Ireland, and Denmark reported higher number of confirmed cases, although Eastern Europe exhibited higher prevalence of gonorrhea due to low public awareness. According to the International Journal of Infectious Disease, in 2014, the annual incidence of gonorrhea was 4.0 to 27.3 per 1,000 in Asia. Latin America represented a higher rate of gonorrhea cases at 27.9 per 1,000, while Africa exhibited highest rate of gonorrhea (63.3 per 1,000 population). Lack of diagnosis and treatment, inadequate public awareness, and insufficient health care infrastructure are the key factors for high rate of gonorrhea in Sub-Saharan Africa. Conservative culture and improved health care facilities in countries in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and Israel lower the prevalence of gonorrhea affected victims.
Key players in the global gonorrhea therapeutics market are Bharat Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Millipore, Pfizer, Entasis Therapeutics, Inc., and Melinta Therapeutics among others. Zoliflodacin is a novel antibiotic drug for the treatment of uncomplicated gonorrhea which will be launched through a collaborative efforts of Entasis Therapeutics and the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership. Melinta Therapeutics delivered a prospect of another novel antibiotic agent RX-P2177 to treat gonorrhea in July, 2017.
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