Glaucoma is considered to be the second most cause for blindness around the world, according to WHO. This leading reason for preventable blindness is associated with chronic progressive optic neuropathy, which leads to irreversible vision loss via damage to optic nerve. No treatments currently exist for directly preventing glaucoma, however several commercially available therapies concentrate on curtailing elevated intraocular pressure, which is a known risk factor responsible for the development and progression of glaucoma.
Demand for glaucoma treatment is expected to be significantly driven by the advent of fixed-dose combination products that combine drugs from various classes. The market for glaucoma treatment will enter a new phase of expansion, with the introduction of first-in-class, innovative drugs such as trabodenoson, Vesneo, and Roclatan/Rhopressa. Prevalence of glaucoma is increasing in parallel with the rise in geriatric population worldwide, as older individuals are relatively more prone to developing glaucoma. In addition, mounting number of people with diabetes and those with family history of glaucoma also contribute to this disease prevalence significantly. Governments and healthcare institutions are increasingly taking initiatives to spread the awareness about treatment options available for patients with glaucoma.
Product development strategies in the recent past have been impressive with surgery options, with several effective additions such as photodynamic therapy and laser therapy. However, excellent efficiency and efficacy of currently available drugs, particularly carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and prostaglandin analogs, have set barriers to the development of new therapy options.
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Incidences of glaucoma in North American countries are rising significantly, with the surge in older population in the region, thereby creating high demand for glaucoma drugs. Demand for glaucoma drugs in the region is fulfilled owing to the presence of several pharmaceutical giants and heavy investments in pharmaceutical sector. In addition, the economic vigour and enormous investments in healthcare sector in North America have meant that the region will remain the leading revenue contributor to the global glaucoma treatment market. Europe and Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) are also expected to be major revenue contributors to the market during the forecast period.
Prostaglandin analogs (PGAs) seek extensive adoption for treating OAG, owing to their relatively higher effectiveness. Among several types of prostaglandin analogs introduced in the market, administration of latanoprost, travoprost, and tafluprost has represented a comparatively more significant IOP-lowering ability in clinical trials. All these factors have made prostaglandin analogs to be highly sought-after among products available for glaucoma treatment. Alpha agonist will also prevail as a remunerative product in the glaucoma treatment market.
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The global market for glaucoma treatment is crowded with branded drugs coupled with surging number of generics, which in turn is creating significant competition in the market. This has further set limits to introduction of novel therapies, along with several products being due to lose exclusivity. Late-stage pipeline for glaucoma, however, holds promise for treatments imparting novel mechanisms of action, thereby creating lucrative growth opportunities for the market players. Key players underpinning growth of the global glaucoma treatment market include Novartis AG, Allergan, Merck & Co., Inc., Akorn, Inc., Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Santen, Aerie Pharmaceuticals, and Inotek Pharmaceuticals.