The 3D printed drug market size was valued at USD 80.5 million in 2023 and is projected to reach a value of USD 283.19 million by 2031, registering a CAGR of 15% during the forecast period 2023-2031.
One of the first three-dimensional printing (3DP) technology was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1980 as a rapid prototyping technique. It is a computerized design technique that is flexible, time-saving, and possesses extraordinary manufacturing capabilities. In the last few years, 3D printing has gained massive attention in the pharmaceutical sector due to the overwhelming challenges of conventional pharmaceutical operations after the approval of Aprecia Pharmaceutical's Spritam tablet from the U.S. FDA. Also, several startups, such as FabRX, have started using 3D printing technology to manufacture drugs and medicine, further providing a platform to formulate and manufacture 3D-printed medications with any drug compound. Similarly, Multiply Labs uses 3D printing technology to manufacture supplement capsules, allowing users to take single supplement capsules.
The increasing prevalence of dysphagia and the increasing demand for instantaneously soluble drugs majorly drives the 3D printing market. In August 2015, the U.S. FDA approved Pennsylvania-based Aprecia Pharmaceuticals Company's first 3D printed drug, named Spritam tablet, formulated using ZipDose technology and is used to treat epilepsy disorder.
3D printing is versatile and cost-effective, further grabbing the attention of key market players. Moreover, the three most used systems in orienting medicines are printing-based inkjet systems, nozzle-based deposition systems, and laser-based writing systems. The technology is used in several industries—especially the healthcare industry—to manufacture several products. In the healthcare industry, the technology will be able to print tissues with blood vessels, prosthetics, medical drugs, implanting bones, heart valves, ear cartilage, skull replacement, and synthetic skin, among others.
Increasing research activities, the rising prevalence of various diseases such as epilepsy, and growing government initiatives drive market growth. Moreover, increasing awareness and disposable income will likely generate a huge demand for drugs by 2025. The market is considering the availability of the drug in various regions, their regulatory policies, and their approval in various countries. Currently, no regulations or guidelines are imposed on the manufacturing of drugs. However, it is expected to emerge with technological advancements and usage.
The sales of pharmaceuticals made through 3D printing have increased for various reasons. Their rapid solubility is a crucial advantage. Drugs can be printed in three dimensions using powder bed inkjet technology. Comparable to 3D printing for any other device, the components of the medicine are added one at a time.
For those with dysphagia, this makes the drugs easier to swallow and may be very helpful. The creation of therapeutic combinations or the arrival of tailored medications could be accelerated by 3D printing. They could be tailored specifically for each patient, which would be significantly more advantageous than mass-produced pharmaceuticals because they would be designed with their medical history in mind. If children can choose their tablets' shape, color, style, and even flavor thanks to 3D printing, they might be more willing to take their prescribed medication! These are anticipated to be the main driving factors for the market for 3D-printed pharmaceuticals.
Any new technology will inevitably have certain disadvantages, and foreseeing and minimizing them can frequently feel like a race against time. A 3D blueprint of the patient, their medical history, the required dosage, etc., must be made on the market for 3D-printed medications.
In light of current problems surrounding hacking and phishing of data stored online and, in the cloud, patients may be reluctant to divulge their medical information for 3D-printed pharmaceuticals. Mislabeled plans, inaccurate descriptions, or more substantial doses than indicated could all be issues.
As 3D printing spreads, it might be used to produce illicit drugs, which will aid law enforcement little in their fight against the expanding black-market trade in them. Lack of regulation would be the main obstacle to commercializing 3D-printed medications.
Researchers from Sichuan University and Xiamen University in China created 3D-printed self-adhesive bandages to administer medications to treat nerve damage in October 2020. The team's manufactured gauze has an inner part that can be filled with regenerative medicine and two click-activated hydrogel layers. The gadget delivers the drug that promotes the formation of glial cells in the peripheral nervous system once wrapped around a damaged nerve (PNS) site. The researchers hope that their inventive 3D-printed dressing design can help surgeons perform standard nerve repair procedures like neurorrhaphy in the future. In addition, it is anticipated that increased investments will accelerate research efforts to generate highly effective 3D-printed pharmaceuticals during the projected period.
For instance, Chinese 3D printing startup Triastek obtained $15 million in Series A funding in December 2020 to quicken the development of its 3D-printed pharmaceuticals. The fund management firm Dalton Venture organized the funding round, with participation from Yunqi Partners and Shangahi Tofflon Science and Technology Chairman Zheng Xiaodong. Triastek will use the funding to build a massive production line, conduct research and development on its 3D-printed medicines, and submit registration applications to China and the U.S. Based on the statements above; the market is predicted to lead during the forecast period.
For better understanding, the market is divided by end-user and region.
The end-user segment is further divided into hospitals, clinics, and research laboratories, where hospitals and clinics dominate the market.
The market category with the most significant revenue share in 2021 was hospitals & clinics. The market for personalized pharmaceuticals is growing due to the extensive use of prescription medications to treat several chronic conditions. The segment is also driven by the rising pharmaceutical demand and the economically advantageous utilization of bio-drugs that use this technology. Additionally, these printers can be deployed in hospitals and clinics to allow for the on-demand production of drugs, particularly those with low stability or needing to be kept in a cold chain. It can also significantly reduce costs, waste, and environmental stress. These elements are expected to accelerate the use of 3D-printed medicines in hospitals and clinics.
To comprehensively evaluate the global 3D Printed Drug market, we have explored the market across five regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.
North America is accounted for the largest share of the global 3D printed drug market. It is expected to continue the same during the forecast period as the region has the presence of technologically advanced countries such as the U.S. and Canada. Moreover, the region's increasing prevalence of epilepsy and cardiovascular disease drives the market growth. As per the CDC, in 2015, around 1.2% (3.4 million) of the U.S. population suffered from epilepsy.
Europe is second in the global 3D printing drug market. This can be attributed to the increasing government support in the region for developing and applying technologically advanced systems.
Asia Pacific is expected to grow at the highest CAGR in the years due to increasing healthcare expenditure and awareness about 3D printing techniques for manufacturing drugs. The region houses one of the highest populations suffering from several diseases, further boosting the demand for 3D printing in the healthcare sector.
LAMEA is considered to provide lucrative opportunities for the market in the years to come. This can be attributed to the increasing prevalence of dysphagia. No commercially available drugs are expected to hit the market by 2020.
As per the Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology, in 2017, about 65 million people were affected by dysphagia in Brazil, which was around 35.9% of the total population. Thus, the growing number of people suffering from dysphagia and emerging healthcare facilities are projected to fuel the market growth.
The major players in the market are:
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