The global opioids market was valued at USD 24.8 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 28.94 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 1.95% from 2019 to 2026. Opioids are medications used to treat severe or persistent pain, such as chronic headaches and backaches, by patients recovering from surgery or experiencing severe pain associated with cancer, as well as by adults and children who have been injured while playing sports or who have been severely injured in falls, auto accidents, or other incidents. Narcotics is another term for opiates. Depending on the patient, the situation, and the type and level of pain, doctors prescribe different types of opioids with varying potencies that can be administered in various ways. Despite the fact that some opioids can be used to treat cough and diarrhea, the majority of opioid prescriptions are used to treat moderate to severe pain. Opioid prescription medications consist of hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, fentanyl, methadone, morphine, and others. Opioids are the most frequently prescribed medications for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic pain. These analgesics are used to treat severe, constant pain in patients with terminal illnesses and to manage pain in cancer patients.
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On a daily basis, many individuals worldwide experience pain. Specifically, the Chronic Pain Association of Canada (CPAC) estimated in its 2019 report that chronic pain patients experienced a decline in quality of life as their pain increased. In addition, between 17 and 31% of individuals experience chronic pain. 50% of hospitalized patients experience acute pain of moderate to severe intensity. The annual direct medical costs per patient for the treatment of chronic pain ranged from $10,000 to $14,000.
A drug molecule that activates specific brain receptors is known as an agonist. This agonist produces a significant physiological/pharmacological response when only a small number of receptors are occupied, indicating that the drug has high intrinsic activity. Fentanyl, morphine, dihydromorphinone, meperidine, oxycodone, and oxymorphone are examples of opioids that act as potent agonists.
Methadone is a potent agonist that effectively treats dependence on opioid drugs (such as heroin). Opioid receptors undergo significant conformational changes in response to the binding of potent agonists.
Due to a rise in demand for pain, cough, and diarrhea-treating products, the market for opioids is anticipated to experience significant expansion over the forecast period. An increase in the consumption of these drugs to combat pain and an increase in the proportion of the geriatric population that is highly susceptible to orthopedic pain are some of the primary factors driving the expansion of the market. In addition, the global increase in the number of individuals suffering from chronic pains is notably high. This is expected to drive the global opioid market's expansion. According to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2019, the prevalence of high-impact chronic pain in the United States was 7.4 percent. In addition, an increase in disposable income in emerging markets such as India, China, and others contributes to the expansion of the market.
Opioids create Gastrointestinal problems in some patients where a patient may suffer from constipation, nausea, and vomiting when he or she starts taking opioids. If the patient becomes tolerant to the drug, then he/she may need more drugs to achieve the same effect in easing pain hence resulting in drowsiness, slow reflexes, or trouble staying focused. Moreover, using opioids for an extended period of time can develop a dependency, and after leaving the drug, the patient may suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, drug cravings, tremors (shaking), and others.
Moreover, some market players are focusing on initiating non-opioid pain treatment products, which are expected to hinder the market growth.
Increasing research and development in the synthesis of hybrids targeting opioid and neurokinin receptors is anticipated to create lucrative growth opportunities for market participants. In December 2019, for instance, researchers from the Medical University of Lodz reported the synthesis, structure-activity relationship, and pharmacological characterization of a series of hybrids combining opioid pharmacophores with either substance P (SP) fragments or neurokinin receptor (NK1) antagonist fragments in order to comprehend the role of the neurokinin system in opioid-induced antinociception.
According to a study by Eugenio Cavalli et al., published in the International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology in 2019, the prevalence of neuropathic pain in the general population was estimated to range between 3 and 17 percent globally. Opioid therapy is, therefore, the cornerstone of orthopedic treatment for patients with moderate to severe pain, and this helps to drive the market's overall expansion. However, factors such as the introduction and legalization of cannabis as an alternative to opioids and prescription drug abuse are anticipated to restrain the market growth during the forecast period.
The Opioids market is segmented by product type, application, and geography. The market is segmented into codeine, fentanyl, oxycodone, methadone, morphine, hydrocodone, and others, based on the type of product. The market is divided into pain management, cough treatment, and diarrhea treatment based on their application. The pain management segment is further subdivided into neuropathy, migraine, back pain, osteoarthritis, and cancer pain.
By substance type, the Opioids Industry is segmented into codeine, fentanyl, oxycodone, methadone, morphine, hydrocodone, and others. Oxycodone was the segment that generated the most revenue in 2020, and this trend is expected to continue throughout the forecast period as oxycodone's global adoption rises. On the other hand, the demand for fentanyl is anticipated to increase at the quickest rate during the forecast period, owing to its increased usage.
By application, the Opioids Industry is divided into the categories of pain management, cough treatment, and diarrhea treatment. The segment for pain management holds the largest share of the Opioids Market and is anticipated to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period. Due to the rapid increase in the number of patients suffering from chronic headaches, migraine, and backaches, as well as those recovering from surgery or experiencing severe cancer-related pain, as well as those injured in sports-related or traffic-related incidents, this market segment is anticipated to experience a significant growth rate.
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The Opioids Market is analyzed regionally for North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and LAMEA. North America held the largest share of the Opioids Market in 2018, accounting for the largest market size, and this trend is anticipated to continue throughout the forecast period. In the United States, regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration are approving an increasing number of products. In August of 2020, for instance, Trevena Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, received FDA approval for Olinvyk (oliceridine), an opioid medication indicated for short-term intravenous use in hospitals or other controlled clinical settings, such as during inpatient and outpatient procedures. Moreover, the rising incidence of orthopedic diseases, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes, a rise in disposable income, a surge in the geriatric population, and the presence of key market players in the region are the major factors driving the market growth in North America.
Furthermore, the rising number of cancer pain patients in the United States is accelerating the growth of the cancer survivor population, which in turn is driving the expansion of the market. According to a research article by Changchuan Jiang et al., published in JAMA Oncology Journal 2019, among 4,526 cancer survivors, 1,648 reported having chronic pain, and 768 had high-impact chronic pain (HICP), representing approximately 5.39 million and 2.5 million cancer survivors, respectively.
In the coming years, the Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to experience the greatest growth as companies such as Purdue Pharma shift their focus to this region in an effort to strengthen their market position.
Key players operating in the global opioids market include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Johnson & Johnson, Endo International plc, Lupin Limited, Cadila Healthcare Limited, Purdue Pharma L.P., AbbVie Inc., Fresenius Kabi, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Inc., Rhodes Pharmaceuticals L.P., Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Nesher Pharmaceuticals (USA) LLC, Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC, Trevena Inc., and Aurobindo Pharma Limited.