Antibiotics Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)
The global antibiotics market was valued at USD 46.69 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach approximately USD 63.09 billion in 2026, registering a CAGR of nearly 5.14% during the forecast period, 2021-2026.
In addition, with the high need for the development of drugs and treatment for COVID-19, antibiotics are extensively being studied. For instance, in March 2020, Pfizer announced positive data for the use of its azithromycin (Zithromax) drug, along with hydroxychloroquine, in a coronavirus (COVID-19) clinical trial performed in France. Similarly, according to a study of 368 patients, in April 2020, there was no significant difference in mechanical ventilation risks in three cohorts of patients treated with hydroxychloroquine alone, a combo of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, and supportive care alone.
The rising prevalence of bacterial infections, coupled with the need for effective and newer antibiotics, is driving the demand for advanced antibiotics. For instance, according to the WHO, in 2019, 10 million people were suffering from tuberculosis (TB) globally, and 1.4 million people died due to the disease. Also, with the urbanization and destruction of natural habitats, climate change, and changing ecosystems, there is an emergence of infectious diseases. This is posing a high burden on developing economies.
Developments in generic drugs and the expanding vulnerable aging population are also contributing to the overall growth of this market. According to the United Nation's Ageing Population Report 2019, the global population aged 60 years or over was numbered at 962 million in 2017, more than twice as large as in 1980 when there were 382 million older persons worldwide. In 2018, 447,694 diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were made in the United Kingdom, a 5% increase compared to 2017. Additionally, 56,259 diagnoses of gonorrhea were reported in 2018, a 26% increase compared to 2017, and 7,541 diagnoses of syphilis were reported in 2018, a 5% increase compared to 2017.
Due to this, diagnostic and pharmaceutical companies are striving to come up with novel techniques that identify the disease cause and treat them. However, some issues associated with antibiotics, such as antibiotic resistance and lengthy and tedious regulatory procedures, are restricting the adoption of antibiotics in the global market.
The cephalosporin segment is expected to account for the largest market size during the forecast period. Carbapenems are expected to witness the highest CAGR of around 5.9% during the forecast period.
The rising threat of drug resistance and a weak pipeline of new molecules are leading to the development of combinational formulations. For instance, in countries like India, the emergence of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) is a major factor driving R&D expenditures. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is another bacterium responsible for several infections in humans that are difficult to treat. The MRSA infection is difficult to treat with standard antibiotics, such as penicillin (methicillin, dicloxacillin, nafcillin, and oxacillin) and cephalosporins.
However, with the development and launch of newer drugs and combinations to treat a wide range of bacterial infections, the market for cephalosporins is expected to witness notable growth over the forecast period.
In August 2019, the US FDA approved a siderophore-cephalosporin conjugate antibiotic cefiderocol for the treatment of adults with complicated urinary tract infections and for infections caused by susceptible Gram-negative microorganisms, which have limited or no alternative treatment options. Similarly, in 2017, Pfizer launched Zavicefta in the United Kingdom to treat serious aerobic gram-negative infections caused by resistant bacteria. Zavicefta, a fixed combination of avibactam and ceftazidime.
Furthermore, the use of the antibiotics such as cephalosporins is cautioned during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may slightly affect the market growth. Also, due to the disruption of supply chains all over the world, the import and export of cephalosporins were impacted in 2020. Moreover, the increasing number of bacterial infections and the burden of diseases such as TB in developing and under-developed countries are projected to further fuel the market growth over the forecast period.
North America currently dominates the market for antibiotics and is expected to continue its stronghold for a few more years. This region is expected to increase its market share in the future, owing to the increased adoption of antibiotics. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2019, 8,920 new cases of tuberculosis (TB) were reported in the United States, representing an incidence rate of 2.7 cases per 100,000 population.
Market players in the country are extensively focusing on the development of novel anti-infective drugs, and they are also adopting various growth strategies. Thus, this is likely to drive the market in the country. For instance, in August 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration approved xenleta (lefamulin) to treat adults with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia. Similarly, in October 2018, Paratek Pharmaceuticals Inc. received the US FDA approval for its nuzyra (omadacycline) injection for the treatment of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) and acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI).
The United States holds the majority of the market in the North American region due to the fact that the United States has the highest antibiotic prescribing rate in the North American region. The United States is one of the most impacted countries by the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, the demand for antibiotic drugs to treat the nosocomial infections caused due to COVID-19 virus also increased in the country.
The antibiotics market is highly competitive and consists of several major players. In terms of market share, few of the major players currently dominate the market. However, with technological advancements and product innovations, mid-size to smaller companies are increasing their market presence by introducing new products with less prices. Companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer PLC, Bayer AG, Novartis AG, and Abbott Inc. hold significant market shares in the antibiotics market.