A majority of medicines & drugs produced in the world are derived from formulating Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), and such processes require alcoholic solvents such as ethanol, isopropanol, propanol and propylene glycol.
Production of pharmaceutical solvents continues to be concentrated in the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region as leading API suppliers and drug manufacturers in the world have based their production units in countries such as South Korea, China and India, among others.
Nevertheless, the production of pharmaceutical solvents in the world continues to be riddled with challenges emanating from stringent manufacturing regulations imposed by governments. Administration authorities regulating industrial activities in a region are curbing the production of pharmaceutical solvents which contain high volumes of inflammable fluids. An alarming rise in the incidences of casualties reported in pharmaceutical solvent manufacturing plants as well as health risks of being exposed to volatile liquids present in several pharmaceutical solvents will continue to be a major challenge for drugmakers in the coming years.
According to Future Market Insights, the global market for pharmaceutical solvents will expand at a sluggish pace, registering a 3.5% CAGR (in terms of value) during the forecast period 2016-2026. More than 2,000 kilotons of pharmaceutical solvents were estimated to be sold in 2016, projecting that the global pharmaceutical solvents revenues amassed in the year surpassed US$ 2,713.2 million. In the report, titled “Pharmaceutical Solvents Market: Global Industry Analysis & Opportunity Assessment, 2016-2026,” Future Market Insights expects that by the end of 2026, an approximate of US$ 4.1 billion revenues will be accrued through global sales of pharmaceutical solvents. Over the projection period, the APEJ pharmaceutical solvents market will account for over 30% of the global revenues, primarily due to the region’s potential for large scale production of drugs, medicine and other pharmaceutical products. Meanwhile, North America and Western Europe are anticipated to incur a slight dip in their collective share towards global market value, procuring combined revenues of nearly US$ 2 billion by the end of 2026.
Alcohol – Dominant Chemical Group for Pharmaceutical Solvents
Formulation of pharmaceutical products is mainly instrumented by mixing alcoholic solvents with API and other pharmaceutical ingredients. During the production of medicinal fluids, alcohols tend to serve as the inactive ingredients or excipients, helping in stabilizing the chemical composition of resultant compounds. Hence, the global market for pharmaceutical solvents will continue to witness higher adoption of alcohol as the constituent chemicals used for production. By the end of 2026, more than 700 kilotons of alcohol will be consumed for the global production of pharmaceutical solvents. Besides, esters are also expected to be a dominant chemical constituent in the production of pharmaceutical solvents and are estimated to have accounted for more than US$ 400 million revenues in 2016. On the other hand, manufacturers of pharmaceutical solvents are also augmenting their production techniques to include ether chemicals. During the forecast period, the global revenue share of ethers will exhibit an impressive growth by accounting for more than 16%.
Fire Hazards Repressing Rampant Production of Pharmaceutical Solvents
Leading manufacturers in the global pharmaceutical solvents market are being weighed down by government and administrative authorities for limiting their production potential. The presence of volatile chemicals in pharmaceutical solvents has led to the imposition of strict regulations regarding the production, storage, and transport of pharmaceutical solvents. Subsequently, health hazards impact the pricing of pharmaceutical solvents as employees working in solvent manufacturing units demand better insurance cover and incessant salary hikes, which ends up spiking the production costs for companies.
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Prominent players in the global pharmaceutical solvents market are being compelled to remodel their production methods by including innovative techniques that constrain the fire hazards during manufacturing. The competitive landscape of the global pharmaceutical solvents market is fragmented into raw material suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors. Companies such as The Dow Chemical Company, Clariant AG, BASF SE, and Alfa Aesar are recognized as global manufacturers of pharmaceutical solvents while leading raw material suppliers in the global market include Mitsui Chemicals, Exxon Mobil Corporation, and Eastman Chemical Company. Other companies profiled in the report include Yip’s Chemical Holdings Limited, Merck KGaA, and Procter & Gamble Chemicals.
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