With the pharmaceuticals market comfortably poised to reach annual revenues of US$400 bn before the end of 2020 (according to the World Health Organization), the demand for excipients is expected to exhibit steady growth. This report creates a holistic perspective of the current dynamics that govern the global pharmaceutical excipients market. How the tightening grip of regulators over the excipients used in the market will impact manufacturers and vendors is also assessed. Analysts have also evaluated the projected impact of disruptive drug delivery techniques on those in the business of pharmaceutical excipients.
A pharmaceutical excipient is a substance-either natural or synthetically formulated-that serves multiple purposes in a medicines and drugs. It is used as a bulking or stabilizing substance, as an agent to enhance the solubility of a drug, or as an ingredient that enhances the therapeutic effect of a drug.
There are also some excipients that may lend more value during the manufacturing or handling process of a drug or medicine. Excipients are also used in applications where the in-vitro integrity and stability of drugs need to be preserved. The type and volume of excipient added to a pharmaceutical formulation depends largely on whether the drug is to be administered orally or intravenously. Since certain excipients may effect an undesirable chemical reaction when used alongside an active ingredient or in a certain environment, the selection of the excipient needs to be made carefully.
Although excipients are used in chemicals and food and beverage sector as well, their use is very closely regulated in the pharmaceutical sector. This puts considerable pressure on manufacturers of pharmaceutical excipients who have to follow numerous process-related and regulatory procedures to bring their products to the market. Besides this factor, a slight but steady decline in the investment inflow in pharmaceutical R&D projects could act against the growth of the global pharmaceutical excipients market.
While these two restraints remain a major concern, the scenario is anything but gloomy for companies operating in the global pharmaceutical excipients market. As companies strive to improve the efficacy and delivery of drugs, new opportunities are bound to emerge even in the pharma excipients space. For instance, the rising interest in nanotechnology in drug delivery and endeavors to reduce the toxicity of drugs are initiatives that will pave the way for the use of innovative excipients.
Opportunities in the global pharmaceutical excipients market are primarily centered on the growing scientific understanding of functionality excipients.
If broadly classified according to type, the global market for pharmaceutical excipients can be segmented into organic and inorganic. Carbohydrates and petrochemicals are the two main classes of organic excipients. Inorganic excipients include such substances as metal oxides, calcium carbonates, calcium phosphates, and halites.
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Excipients can be used in different types of drug formulation, including but not limited to: oral formulation such as capsules and tablets, parenteral drugs, topical application drugs, and advanced drug delivery systems. The use of excipients in oral drug administration has traditionally been the highest and continues to stay so. Topical drugs are infusing new growth into the global pharmaceutical excipients market.
Based on functionality, pharmaceutical excipients serve as flavoring agents, binders, coatings, preservatives, viscosity agents, lubricants, and more.
Europe has a sizeable pharmaceuticals excipients market, which is also among the largest in the world. North America follows Europe in terms of the size of the excipients market. Globally, Asia Pacific is yet another sizeable pharmaceutical excipients market.
Organizations such as the International Pharmaceutical Excipient Councils function on the global and regional level to promote the proper and safe usage of pharma excipients. Among the key companies operating in the global pharmaceutical excipients market are: BASF SE, Evonik Industries AG, Ashland, Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Company, Croda International Plc.