Sneaky and silent--two adjectives healthcare providers across the world use when they talk about diabetes. If not managed properly, this disease wreaks havoc to a person's health. Unfortunately, the number of patients suffering from it has been increasing in the past couple of decades.
According to a BBC report, some 400 million people - more than half of them in China, India and the US - aged 20 to 79, are living with type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the disease. Their numbers are expected to climb to more than 500 million by 2030.
Along with the upward trend of the number of patients, the market of diabetes related drugs, especially insulin has witnessed a significant rise. The global insulin drugs market was valued at about $25.44 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow to $29.39 billion at a rate of about 7% through 2023.
Current global demand for the insulin market is anticipated to be driven by an increase in awareness about the benefits of insulin for diabetes patients in developing and underdeveloped countries. The growing incidences of diabetes in population, rapid development in insulin delivery systems, drug and analog development by major companies, and rise in geriatric as well as obese population are some of the factors which are fueling the growth of the insulin market.
The global insulin market
Based on product type, the insulin market is segmented into intermediate acting insulin, short acting insulin, rapid acting insulin, and long acting insulin. Short acting drugs generally include Novolin R and Humulin R. Insulin Lispro, Insulin Aspart, and Insulin Glulisine are some of the examples of rapid acting insulin. Long acting insulin includes insulin Detemir, insulin Degludec, and insulin Glargine. NPH (Humulin N, Humulin N) are included in intermediate acting insulin.
On the basis of source, the market is segmented into human recombinant insulin and insulin analogs. Human recombinant insulin is anticipated to show higher growth owing to its benefits and rapid actions as compared to insulin analogs.
Based on administration, the market is segmented into pumps and injections. Oral insulin is being developed by many companies around the globe but it's a hard and costly task as the enzymes present in the stomach will break down the insulin which prevents the action of insulin. Therefore pumps and injections are preferred to administer insulin in patients for now.
On the basis of application, the insulin market is fragmented into insulin for type II diabetes and insulin for type I diabetes. Insulin for type I diabetes dominated the application segment of the insulin market owing to the high prevalence rate of type I diabetes. Also, a type I diabetes patient has to take insulin therapy for his whole lifetime; this also fuels the growth of the segment.
On the basis of product type, the human insulin delivery devices market is classified into three segments—pens, pen needles, and syringes. The pens segment is expected to account for the largest market share in 2015.
Who are the key players?
The insulin drugs market has been geographically segmented into North America, Western Europe, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, South America and Middle East & Africa. The North American market is the largest market for insulin drugs and is expected to continue to be the largest market during the forecast period. A report indicates that the market in this region was worth $10.42 billion in the year 2018. The growth in the market is driven by the existence of key insulin manufacturers and robust competition among each other.
Apart from North America, Europe is the second-most leading region in the market. Following Europe, the market in Asia Pacific is expected to rise at the highest CAGR over the projected horizon. This is ascribable to the rising prevalence of diabetes, coupled with rising per capita income of the population in this region. Another factor driving the market is the higher availability of generic insulin. Other regions such as Latin America, Middle East and Africa are expected to grow at a slow rate in the forthcoming years.
Some of the key players in insulin market include Sanofi, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Oramed Pharmaceuticals, Dongbao Enterprise Group Co., Ltd., and Biocon, Wockhardt Limited, Julphar. Globally, Novo Nordisk shares 52% of the market while Sanofi shares 17% and Eli Lilly 23%.
In Bangladesh top brands in the insulin market are Actrapid, Humulin R, Insul R, Insulin Actapid HM, Insuman, Maxsulin R and top manufacturers are Novo Nordisk/ Transcom, Eli Lilly/Int. Agencies (Bd.), Popular Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Sanofi-Aventis Bangladesh Ltd, Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
Other forms of insulin
The increasing adoption of a sedentary lifestyle is the primary reason behind the prevalence of diabetes. This, as a result, will fuel demand for insulin pens and insulin injections among masses. As part of business strategy, key players are launching various products in the human insulin industry to increase their market share.
Biocon plans to develop an oral insulin tablet called Tregopil for people suffering from Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. This tablet aims to improve post-prandial blood sugar control and has minimum side-effects.
In March 2018, Biocon Limited also received the marketing authorization approval from the European Union (EU) and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia for Semglee (biosimilar insulin glargine) prefilled disposable pen.
Similarly, in December 2017, Sanofi received the USFDA approval for Admelog (insulin lispro injection). Admelog is a rapid-acting insulin that helps people to manage their blood sugar levels at mealtime.
Market growth can be attributed to factors such as growing diabetes patient population, increasing population exposure to key risk factors leading to diabetes, rising market demand for human insulin analogs, technological advancements in the field of human insulin delivery devices, and favorable medical reimbursements. However, stringent regulatory requirements for product approval are restraining the growth of the market. In addition, high product manufacturing costs are posing significant challenges for market growth.
Although insulin has been used in the treatment of diabetes for about 100 years, globally, more than half of those who need insulin today still cannot afford and access it.
A new study in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal says nearly 80 million people with the disease will require insulin by 2030 as the demand for the drug is projected to rise by 20% by then. But around half of those who need it - possibly the majority in Asia and Africa - will not be able to get it. Already, one in two people with type 2 diabetes do not have access to the insulin they need.