As the name suggests, anti-fungal drugs are used to treat fungal infections. Common fungal infections such as fungal nail infection, vaginal infection, and ringworm usually occur on the external surface of the body, while certain fungal invasive infections occur inside the tissue of body or in an internal organ such as lungs and brain. Fungal infection is usually associated with a weak immune system, with people suffering from HIV and AIDS, and those undergoing high dosage chemotherapy more susceptible to invasive fungal infections. Anti-fungal drugs work against fungal infections by either killing the fungal cells or by inhibiting their growth. Anti-fungal drugs are broadly classified as topical antifungals, oral antifungals, intravenous antifungals, and intravaginal antifungal pessaries.
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As per stats released by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 1 million people get infected worldwide by cryptococcal meningitis, which is a brain infection caused by fungus Cryptococcus and it subsequently leads to 625,000 deaths. These cases are mainly reported in sub-Saharan Africa. Also, the histoplasmosis infection mostly occurs in the U.S. and some portion of Central and South America. As per CDC’s study, the histoplasmosis is a common infection observed in people with HIV and AIDS. In case of histoplasmosis, late diagnosis and treatment can be fatal.
The global anti-fungal drugs market recorded double-digit Y-o-Y growth in 2016 and it is expected witness steady growth in the near future. Growth is mainly attributed to increasing prevalence of infections and changing climatic conditions, in turn increasing incidence of fungal infections. Also, Latin and South America have witnessed more growth in anti-fungal drugs revenue than North America in the recent past.
Increasing accessibility to low-cost OTC anti-fungal drugs creates a highly lucrative environment for growth of the global anti-fungal drugs market.
Growing incidence of antifungal infections and increasing popularity of OTC drugs to drive growth of the anti-fungal drugs market in near the future
Changing environment conditions and increasing pollution lead to increasing prevalence of various infections. The continuously growing population is also the supportive factor pushing this growth. North America holds the largest market share due to increasing awareness about infections and high investment in R&D in the region. Also, emerging economies in APAC region are projected to witness high growth rate over the forecast period (2017-2024) due to increasing awareness about infectious diseases, increasing R&D activities, and growing target population.
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The major factor driving growth of the market is rising popularity of OTC drugs as they are cost effective for the patients and growing advertisement of antifungal drugs for dermal infections like for skin infection is also the helping factor for the growth of antifungal drugs. Also, patent expiration of branded drugs will also lead to market growth. Increased funding for R&D in developed countries and increased focus on product innovation will further augment market growth.