As per a study conducted in 2019, bacterial infection was the cause of 7.7 million deaths around the world, making it the second largest cause of death globally.
Bacteria can cause a multitude of infections, depending on how one is exposed and what part of the body it infects. Any person can get sick by coming in contact with harmful bacteria and getting it in their skin, gut (GI tract), lungs, heart, brain, blood, or anywhere else in their body. It can come from the environment, an infected person or animal, a bug bite, or something contaminated (like food, water, or surfaces) and can cause bacterial growth or poisons (toxins) in the body and lead to mild to major infections. The common types of bacterial infections are listed below-
- Food poisonings (gastroenteritis) such as Campylobacter and Salmonella infections
- Skin infections such as cellulitis, boils, and impetigo
- Ear, or sinus infections and bacterial pneumonia such as pneumococcal disease
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhea
- Most urinary tract infections (UTIs), commonly caused by E.coli bacteria
- Intestinal infection caused by Clostridioides difficile (also known as C. difficile or C. diff.) bacteria
- Various others such as strep throat, bacterial vaginosis, Lyme disease, etc.
I did not invent penicillin. Nature did that. I only discovered it by accident.” Alexander Fleming
Thanks to Sir Alexander Fleming for discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer called penicillin. A few years later, Selman Abraham Waksman, an American scientist, and microbiologist, often called the ‘Father of Antibiotics’ discovered a number of antibiotics that have been saving millions of lives. One of his discoveries was streptomycin, the first antibiotic to treat tuberculosis.
Antibiotics are drugs that either kill bacteria or stop them from multiplying and hence are prescribed to treat bacterial infections. Each antibiotic can effectively treat only a specific type of bacteria.
The Different Classes of antibiotics include the following:
- Beta-lactam antibiotics (which include Carbapenems, cephalosporins, monobactams such as aztreonam, and penicillins)
- Glycopeptides and lipoglycopeptides (such as vancomycin)
- Macrolides (such as erythromycin and azithromycin)
- Oxazolidinones (such as linezolid and tedizolid)
- Streptogramins (such as quinupristin and dalfopristin)
- Other antibiotics (chloramphenicol, clindamycin, daptomycin, fosfomycin, lefamulin, metronidazole, mupirocin, nitrofurantoin, and tigecycline).
Combinations of Antibiotics
In certain infections, there can be a developed resistance to a single antibiotic. Moreover, at times in case of severe infections or when an infection is caused due to more than one variant of bacteria, a combination of antibiotics needs to be prescribed to treat it.
Antibiotics Market Research Synopsis
The Current and Estimated Market Size-
The antibiotics market size has been valued at approximately USD 43 billion in 2022 and is estimated to reach USD 60 billion by 2035 growing at a CAGR of 8%.
Trends positively impacting the market growth are-
- The surge in infectious and communicable diseases, such as TB, HIV, and others. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, in 2020, an estimated 1.5 million people were infected with HIV. A total of 1.6 million people died from TB globally in 2021 and TB is considered the 13th leading cause of death and the second leading infectious killer after COVID-19 (above HIV/AIDS) as per the WHO.
- Increasing count of bacterial infection mortality. As per a report, 1 in 8 of all global deaths has been linked to bacterial infection.
- Antibiotic research and drug discovery have made significant advances in the field of antibiotics.
- The growing use of combinations of antibiotics to treat resistant infections.
- Strategic initiatives and collaborations by market players in the form of mergers, collaborations, and acquisitions are also boosting the market.
- The growing geriatric population worldwide that needs to manage several infections considering their low immunity due to old age.
Trends negatively impacting the market growth are-
- The growing unpopularity of antibiotics in countries such as the U.S., Canada, and European Countries. Several government agencies and healthcare organizations are discouraging the use of antibiotics in these countries to reduce antimicrobial resistance.
- Side-effects associated with antibiotics
- The use of antibiotics was restricted during the Pandemic considering their ineffectiveness on viral infections.
Global Chronic Disease Management Market Regional Analysis
- Asia Pacific is the leading region with the maximum revenue share in the antibiotics market. The growing prevalence of infectious diseases, dependency on oral drug formulations for treatment, and developing healthcare are the major factors boosting the market in this region.
- China is the number one producer of pharmaceutical ingredients, used to make antibiotics. The consistently preferred use of penicillin and cephalosporin, as well as injections, among China’s public healthcare institutions, is the major factor promoting the growth of the market. As per a study conducted in 2020, primary healthcare centers in China accounted for more than half of the total antibiotic consumption, especially in central regions (59%–68%). The use of penicillins and cephalosporins accounted for 32.02% and 28.86% of total antibiotic consumption in 2020, and parenteral antibiotics accounted for 31%–36% of total antibiotic consumption in the same year.
- India is the largest consumer of antibiotics globally as it consumes a large volume of broad-spectrum antibiotics. As per a report India has recorded a massive consumption of over 5000 million antibiotic tablets in a year with Azithromycin being at the top. Apart from that the surge in bacterial infections in all age groups and the easy availability of oral antibiotics are driving the growth of the market.
- North America shows promising potential in terms of the antibiotics market. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that about 47 million antibiotic courses each year are prescribed for infections by doctors and emergency departments each year. That’s about 30% of all antibiotics prescribed. In 2016, 270.2 million antibiotic prescriptions were written in the United States.
- In Europe, the EU/EEA population-weighted mean total i.e., community and hospital sectors combined consumption of antibacterials for systemic use (ATC group J01) was 16.4 defined daily dose (DDD) per 1 000 inhabitants per day in 2021. Penicillins such as amoxicillin and flucloxacillin are the most commonly prescribed antibiotics in the UK. Trimethoprim and clarithromycin are also significantly used for treatment.
The prominent players in the antibiotics market are-
The major companies operating in the market are F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd., Pfizer Inc., Abbott Laboratories, Merck & Co., Inc., Lupin Limited, Melinta Therapeutics, LLC, Bayer AG, and others.
- Pfizer Inc. has pledged $100 million to the new Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Action Fund, to help address the significant global public health concern for new antibiotics owing to the rapid rise of antibiotic-resistant infections.
- GSK plc has announced that the pivotal phase III EAGLE-2 and EAGLE-3 trials evaluating gepotidacin, will stop enrolment early for efficacy following a recommendation by the Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) considering a pre-specified interim analysis of efficacy and safety data in over 3000 patients across the trials. Gepotidacin is an investigational treatment for uncomplicated urinary tract infections (uUTI) in female adults and adolescents.
Although antibiotics are significant and effective to treat bacterial infections, excessive and arbitrary use of them is causing more harm than good. It calls for antibiotic-use management and effective ways to prevent antimicrobial resistance (AMR). As per the WHO, it has been estimated that in the absence of any strong measures or action to stop its spread, AMR could lead to 10 million deaths per year by 2050. Not only this, it has been evaluated that around 3.5 billion US dollars will be spent annually in Europe, North America, and Australia on average due to AMR. Hence, the priority is not only to stop the reckless use of antibiotics but also to take sufficient action for managing AMR. A renewed approach to research and innovation and to develop new antibiotics is the call that needs to be taken by market players and investors.
Antibiotics are indispensable and as such, there is a need to preserve their therapeutic effectiveness and slow down the development of resistance.