Osteoarthritis Therapeutics Market Global Forecasts

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The global osteoarthritis therapeutics market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.7% from 2020 to 2025 to reach $11.0 billion by 2025, according to a recent report from MarketsandMarkets. Several key factors are driving this anticipated growth.

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First, there is a large and growing population of target patients globally. With population aging, more people are being diagnosed with osteoarthritis. There is also rising obesity rates in many countries, another major risk factor. Meanwhile, healthcare infrastructure is improving in some Asia Pacific countries, leading to increased access to osteoarthritis treatments.

The growth opportunities are also being boosted by government investments into relevant medical research as well as patient adoption of pain management medications. Drugs aimed at pain relief like oral and topical NSAIDs or intra-articular corticosteroids have proven popular for managing osteoarthritis symptoms. The report estimates over 50% of U.S. osteoarthritis patients are prescribed NSAIDs.

However, wider NSAID use also poses risks which may hamper market expansion. Studies show NSAID use significantly elevates risks of adverse cardiovascular events. This has made some doctors more hesitant about prescribing NSAIDs, while also leading some patients to explore alternatives. Still, pain relief remains paramount for quality of life, so demand is expected to remain strong overall.

The Asia Pacific area stands out from a regional perspective. Europe still claims the largest revenue share currently, but emerging APAC markets led by China, Japan, Australia, and South Korea are experiencing rapid gains. Latin America and the Middle East & Africa also present viable opportunities for producers looking internationally.

Currently knee osteoarthritis therapeutics makes up the largest market segment based on anatomy. Going forward, the knee segment is forecasted to be the highest growth area too. Knee osteoarthritis has a very high incidence rate globally, creating substantial demand for tailored therapeutic products.

Viscosupplementation agents dominate the market by drug type, though corticosteroids, analgesics, and NSAIDs also claim significant shares. The former help lubricate joint movement and analgestics directly target pain relief. Meanwhile NSAIDs and corticosteroids reduce underlying inflammation.

Most osteoarthritis drugs are administered orally or via injections, with parenteral routes reigning supreme so far. The ease of use and precise dosage control intrinsic to injections supports their popularity amongst patients and doctors. Hospital pharmacies are the dominant distribution channel, a trend expected to continue near-term given hospitals’ expansive treatment role.

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Lastly, while some over-the-counter osteoarthritis mediations are available, regulated prescription drugs make up the majority of revenues. Viscosupplementation agents and corticosteroids can only be obtained via prescriptions, ensuring continued dominance for this segment. However, those producers also targeting the consumer healthcare market have room for upside.

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