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Ophthalmic pharmaceutical drugs is a uniquely competitive market kept perennially vibrant by refining technological changes in drug formulations and efficacy. Conventional drug delivery techniques are giving way to newer, and more effective therapies such as infusion-type medicines, slow-release delivery systems, and implantables.
The global market for ophthalmic drugs is witnessing substantial growth, due primarily to factors such as rising incidence as well as prevalence of eye disorders such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and presbyopia among the elderly population. Growth is also driven by the evolution of treatment options for age-macular degeneration, as well as the ensuing commercial and therapeutic success of Lucentis, which made the market more lucrative and a potential growth sector.
Conversely, the market is fraught with challenges, including absence of health insurance among the ageing population in developing countries. Meanwhile, low awareness related to ophthalmic disorders, primarily due to little or no awareness in rural areas, pose tremendous challenges for ophthalmic drugs market in developing countries.
The global ophthalmic drug market is likely to face a patent cliff after 2010 as patents of major products within ocular anti-allergic, anti-glaucoma, as well as anti-inflammatory/anti-inflective therapies expire. The market expansion and the development of ophthalmic franchises of major pharmaceutical providers would be hit by the ensuing generic incursion, along with the rising regulatory priorities with regards to the global healthcare reforms.
Though the high efficacy of Allegan/Inspire's Restasis and Roche/Genetech's Lucentis is likely to lead the markets for treatment of dry eye and wet Age-Macular Degeneration, respectively, the global ophthalmology treatment sales are expected to stay more or less flat during the ensuing years.