The demand for prefilled syringes has increased rapidly over the past several years, driven by the advantages offered over traditional drug delivery m
The demand for prefilled syringes has increased rapidly over the past several years, driven by the advantages offered over traditional drug delivery methods. As a result, the adoption of this mode of drug delivery has been significant in both the hospital and homecare settings. The benefits of using prefilled syringes over conventional methods of parenteral drug delivery are widely recognized by healthcare industry professionals, as well as end-users. They are easy to use and offer more precision.
Moreover, it is a well-known fact that unsafe needle practices result in an increased incidence of infections due to transmission of blood-borne pathogens. Re-use of needles and syringes without sterilization has contributed significantly to this problem. To address such safety issues, there has been an increasing demand for ready-to-use, single dose, disposable syringe systems with safety features. Healthcare facilities are opting for safety devices to protect their staff from occupational hazards and to comply with strict standards and regulations set by governments around the world for mandatory use of safety-engineered devices. In such a scenario, prefilled syringes are becoming increasingly popular. They are ready-to-use, easily disposable and reduce risk of cross contamination. They can be easily combined with safety devices, such as needle retraction systems to prevent needlestick injuries. Moreover, prefilled syringes with integrated safety features have also been developed. Use of prefilled syringes considerably reduces the risk of blood-borne pathogens transmission.
As a result, many pharmaceutical companies have already initiated the shift from conventional parenteral packaging to prefilled syringes, for both drug formulations and vaccines. Currently, more than 100 parenteral drug products are available in prefilled syringes and a large number of pipeline drugs are also under consideration for delivery via such devices. Further, biologics are growing to be the future of the drug development market and the injectable drug pipeline continues to move from small molecules to complex biologics, such as mAbs. This trend is likely to contribute to the demand for prefilled syringes, in the coming years. In fact, nine of the top-10 drugs available in prefilled syringes are biologics with majority of these being used for treating chronic diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Additionally, growth in the biosimilars market is likely to increase opportunities for prefilled syringe market.
Currently, the prefilled syringes are more commonly used in developed markets of the US and Europe but are slowly gaining popularity in Asian and other markets. The US and Europe have traditionally been most receptive to adoption of any new drugs, devices, and delivery technologies. Introduction of favorable reimbursement policies and decrease in price of prefilled syringes is likely to increase the demand for prefilled syringes in emerging markets in the coming years. Although, the short-term growth prospects in the developing economies are small, the growing pharmaceutical markets of countries, such as India and China, will provide huge opportunities for prefilled syringe manufacturers in the long term.
In fact, in an interview with the chief technical officer of a mid-sized company, he stated that “In India, there will be a gradual uptake for prefilled syringes because of several reasons. The primary reason is the cost associated with prefilled syringes. People are unaware of the fact that if we add the indirect cost involved in the use of vials and ampoules, it comes out to be almost equivalent to the prefilled syringe. Therefore, there is an ardent need to create awareness among the people regarding this. Additionally, unlike the US and EU markets, reimbursement is also a key challenge in India.”
Despite various technical and manufacturing-related challenges, this field is expected to grow owing to an ever-increasing demand for self-injecting devices for the treatment of several chronic conditions. Over the years, new developments in prefilled syringes have resulted in innovative designs capable of catering to a wide range of patients’ needs. Manufacturers are developing patient centric solutions for drug delivery. Introduction of advanced features and emergence of efficient technologies are further anticipated to provide an additional impetus to the growth of this market.
In fact, according to the base scenario of our forecast model, the market for prefilled syringes is expected to grow to around USD 3.6 billion by 2030. Further, our estimates suggest that, even though, glass barrel prefilled syringes presently hold the dominant share (86%) in the overall market, the market for plastic prefilled syringes is likely to grow at a CAGR of 6%. Further, the combined market share of prefilled syringes containing small molecules and protein is expected to be around 60%. Further, the market for prefilled syringes containing peptides is likely to grow at a CAGR of 12%.