Topical pain relievers are medications directly applied to the epidermal layer of skin at the area of pain or inflammation. Development of new routes of drug administration has focused on providing patients with the ease of treatment without decreasing the efficiency of medication. Topical pain relievers are designed to relieve pain and use skin as the vehicle for drug administration and exert predominant action at targeted site and in the central nervous system. Topical pain relievers is the second fastest growing OTC drug category. Topical pain relievers have the ability of targeted release of medication, slowly and gradually into the bloodstream keeping the blood levels constant. This enables a patient to continue with medications for chronic diseases for longer periods. Topical pain relievers are a good option for those unable to take medications orally. Topical pain relievers include the administration of drugs such as NSAIDs, local anesthetics, capsaicin, tricyclic antidepressants, ketamine, clonidine, opioids, and cannabinoids. These medications are available in the form of creams, foams, gels, roll-ons, sprays, sticks, and patches.

According to Global Burden of Disease 2013 (GBD 2013), around 242 million people in the world were living with symptomatic and activity limiting osteoarthritis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 million U.S. adults were suffering from osteoarthritis in 2017. Rise in prevalence of arthritis among the global geriatric population drives the topical pain relievers market. Other key drivers fueling the global topical pain relief market are rise in awareness among patients about the adverse effects of particular drugs and associated pathways, increase in the number of patients undergoing prolonged treatment for diseases such as skin cancer, surge in demand for pain relievers among sportspersons, and increase in the global geriatric population.

However, potential restraints of the global pain relief market are burning sensation, skin irritation, and allergic reactions due to usage of pain relievers. Strong odor, and unpleasant smell and discomfort of application at certain sites also act as restraints of the market.

The global topical pain relief market can be segmented based on formulation type, therapeutic class, distribution channel, and region. In terms of formulation type, the market can be classified into creams, foams, gels, roll-ons, sprays, sticks, and patches. Based on therapeutic class, the global topical pain relief market can be bifurcated into non-opioids and opioids. The non-opioids segment can be divided into NSAIDs, lidocaine, capsaicin, clonidine, and others. The opioids segment can be classified into fentanyl and buprenorphine. In terms of distribution channel, the market can be categorized into hospitals, pharmacies, retail stores, and online pharmacies.

In terms of region, the global topical pain relief market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Each region can be divided into specific countries/sub-regions such as the U.S., Canada, Germany, the U.K., Brazil, India, Japan, and GCC Countries. North America leads the global topical pain relief market due to high awareness about the side effects caused by systemic administration of drugs. Increase in the number of people suffering from migraine and schizophrenia is expected to drive the market in the region during the forecast period. Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest growing market during the forecast period due to large population and surge in awareness about topical pain relievers among patients. Rise in prevalence of diseases associated with chronic pain among the population is expected to boost the growth of the topical pain relief market in the region.

Key players in the global topical pain relief market include GlaxoSmithKline plc, AdvaCare Pharma, Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., Nestlé S.A., Novartis AG, Pfizer, Inc., Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Reckitt Benckiser Group plc, Sanofi, and Topical BioMedics, Inc. Global players are adopting growth strategies such as partnerships, agreements, collaborations, acquisitions, and new product development to gain competitive advantage in the market.

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  • North America (U.S. and Canada)
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  • Middle East and Africa (GCC, Southern Africa, and North Africa)

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