Liver carries out important functions in the body such as protein production, metabolizing of fat and carbohydrate, detoxification of drugs, alcohol, and environmental toxin. Liver disease is a broad term that covers all the potential problems that cause the liver fail to perform its designated function. The different types of liver diseases are hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver abscess (collection of pus). Liver cirrhosis is a late stage of scarring of liver caused by liver disease and conditions such as chronic alcoholism, hepatitis, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Signs and symptoms of liver cirrhosis include abdominal pain, fatigue, intestinal bleeding, jaundice, weakness, and weight loss. Liver cirrhosis can be broadly classified into hepatitis C-related cirrhosis, alcoholic cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and primary biliary cirrhosis. Approximately 20% to 30% of the subjects chronically infected with hepatitis C virus are likely to develop liver cirrhosis 15 to 25 years later. Alcoholic cirrhosis is an advanced form of liver disease caused due to alcohol consumption. About 10% to 15% of people with alcoholism develop liver cirrhosis.
Primary sclerosing cholangitis is characterized by cholestasis with inflammation in bile duct, eventually leading to liver cirrhosis. Primary biliary cirrhosis is an autoimmune disease of the liver that results in progressive disruption of the bile duct. Diagnosis of liver cirrhosis can be done by patient history, physical examination, laboratory test such as liver function test, hepatitis B and C test, imaging such as magnetic resonance elastography or transient elastography, MRI, and CT scan. However, liver cirrhosis can only be confirmed by liver biopsy. Liver cirrhosis cannot be cured; however, drugs prevent or delay further liver damage. These include chemotherapeutic drugs, targeted therapy, vaccine, antiviral drugs, immunoglobulin, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressant. Scientists are currently working to expand the treatment area for liver cirrhosis, but success has been limited. Currently, the phase II trial of IDN-6556 (emricasan) is underway on liver cirrhosis subjects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the global incidence of liver disease was 3.9 million in 2016. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), incidence of liver cirrhosis is rising in countries in Europe due to high consumption of alcohol.
Rise in prevalence of liver disease and rapidly changing lifestyles such as increase in alcohol consumption are projected to drive the global liver cirrhosis treatment market during the forecast period. Additionally, increase in awareness programs and rise in R&D investment for the development of new drug molecules are projected to propel the global liver cirrhosis treatment market in the near future. However, high cost of drug development and stringent government regulations are projected to restrain the global market during the forecast period.
The global liver cirrhosis treatment market can be segmented based on disease type, drug type, distribution channel, and region. In terms of disease type, the global market can be categorized into hepatitis C-related cirrhosis, alcoholic cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and primary biliary cirrhosis. Based on drug type, the global liver cirrhosis treatment market can be classified into chemotherapeutic drugs, targeted therapy, vaccine, antiviral drugs, immunoglobulin, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressant. In terms of distribution channel, the global market can be divided into online pharmacies, retail pharmacies, and hospital pharmacies.
Geographically, the global liver cirrhosis treatment market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to account for the largest share of the global market due to favorable reimbursement scenario and higher health care spending. Europe is expected to be the second-largest market for liver cirrhosis treatment during the forecast period due to rise in awareness about new treatment options and developed regulatory framework. The liver cirrhosis treatment market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow at a rapid pace during the forecast period. Growth of the market in the region can be attributed to rise in prevalence of liver disease and improving health care infrastructure.
Key players operating in the global liver cirrhosis treatment market are Pfizer, Inc., Abbott Laboratories, Merck & Co., Inc., Novartis AG, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company Ltd., and Zydus Pharmaceuticals Inc., among others.
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