Anti-viral drugs are medicines which are used specially for treating viral infections. Most anti-viral drugs are used for particular viral infections, similar to antibiotics, while a broad-spectrum anti-viral drug is effective against a varied range of viruses. Antiviral drugs do not kill their target pathogen, instead they inhibit the development of those viruses.
The global anti-viral drugs market is projected to register a moderate growth rate in the pharmaceutical market and which is anticipated to increase due to rise in awareness level, increase in the diseased population and introduction of new drugs with improved efficacy.
Some major patents are reaching their expiry during forecast period, such as for Combivir, Sustiva, Tenofovir, Tamiflu, Relenza and Telbivudine. The patent expiries of these blockbuster drugs is expected to trigger generic competition in the antivirals therapeutics market, which will make the market more competitive.
The late stage pipeline drugs are expected to enter the market, which will positively impact the market. Most antivirals are considered comparatively harmless to host, and therefore are used to treat infections. They are different from viricides, which are not used for medication but can destroy or deactivate virus particles, either outside or inside the body.
The anti-viral drugs are used in the treatment of patients suffering from herpes viruses, HIV, influenza A and B viruses and the hepatitis B and C viruses.
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Anti-viral Drugs Market: Drivers and Restraints
As of October 2013, according to WHO, there were around 35.3 Mn people globally, infected with HIV. Therefore, increased viral infection incidences is one of the important factors that drives the anti-viral drugs market growth. Because of the solid R&D activities, newer and advanced treatments and formulations, such as vaccines, combination therapy and others, are being introduced in the market.
Hence, strong R&D is one of the crucial factors in the anti-viral drugs market growth. On the other hand, high risk of failure, high cost of R&D and therapy, and government austerity are some of threats expected to hinder the growth of market.
These are some factors anticipated to fuel growth of global anti-viral drugs market within the forecast period of 2016-2026. However, increasing usage of natural products and high cost of developing drugs are the key challenges faced by the market.
Anti-viral Drugs Market: Overview
The generic market of anti-viral drugs is presently dominated by products such as didanosine, zidovudine, lamivudine and stavudine. The biggest driver of overall anti-viral drugs market is Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) therapeutic sales which accounted for more than half the share of the market 2010.
At the end of 2012, 9.7 million people in low-income and middle-income countries were on antiretroviral treatment (ART). According to WHO, in 2012, number of patients on ART increased by 1.6 Mn, the largest increase in one year.
Nearly four out of five people were freshly put on treatment in the sub-Saharan Africa. In 21 African countries with a high burden of HIV, two out of three people in need are receiving treatment, and two out of three positive pregnant women are receiving antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV transmission to their infants.
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Anti-viral Drugs Market: Regional Overview
Region wise, the global anti-viral drugs market is classified into regions namely, North America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Latin America, Japan, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. According to WHO, in countries with Major ART scale-up such as Brazil or China, the death rate among people living with HIV has decreased by 80%. In 2015, in India the number of people living with HIV were 2.1 Mn and in U.S. the number was around 1.2 Mn in the year 2013.
Anti-viral Drugs Market: Key Players
Some of the key players in global anti-viral drugs market, which are focusing on general molecular mechanisms of antiviral drugs rather than therapies for individual viruses, include Roche, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Abbott, AstraZeneca, Cipla, Schering-Plough, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co and others.
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