According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.1 billion people smoke tobacco, and the number would double by 2050, if nothing is done. Tobacco consumption, apart from leading to lung cancer and other respiratory diseases, is the most-significant reason behind the development and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A chronic eye disease, AMD damages the macula of the retina, thereby leading to blurred vision and often a blind spot in the visual field.
The chronic visual disorder is caused due to the leakage of fluid or blood in the macula because of an abnormal blood vessel. There are two forms of AMD: wet and dry, of which the dry form is more prevalent. This is because wet AMD often starts as dry AMD, and, if detected early, blurry vision and the loss of sight can be prevented. Wet AMD affects the aging (40–80 years) population worldwide.
To manage this chronic eye disease, AMD drugs are in high demand. The rise in the incidence of AMD, lack of availability of a specific treatment, and surge in the geriatric population are the prime reasons behind the wet age-related macular degeneration market size increase. According to P&S Intelligence, it is projected to witness a CAGR of 7.1% during 2019–2024, to grow from $6.9 billion in 2018 to $10.4 billion in 2024. With the development of cheap drugs, their consumption has a great potential to increase in the near future.
Wet age-related macular degeneration drugs are receiving a huge demand from the Asia-Pacific region because of a significant rise in the geriatric population here. The United Nations says, “By 2050, one in four people in Asia and the Pacific will be over 60 years old. The population of older persons (aged over 60) in the region will triple between 2010 and 2050, reaching close to 1.3 billion people.” According to the National Eye Institute, AMD is a leading cause of vision loss among the elderly, especially those aged 60 years and above.
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APAC accounts for more than one-third of the macular generation cases reported globally, reflecting a vast unmet need for associated drugs in this region. But, the lack of access and high cost have hampered the popularity of these drugs in the past. However, in the coming future, there will be a greater demand for these drugs, as people are becoming more aware and the healthcare system is advancing and becoming more accessible to the masses.
Among Lucentis, Eylea, Avastin, Visudyne, and Macugen, Eylea is the most-sought-after drug, because of its low cost and high efficacy. To cater to the low-income countries of APAC, drugs procured via direct channels would prove economical. Wet AMD affects people in various age brackets — 40–59 years, 60–80 years, and more than 80 years. Those in the age bracket of 80 years are the most susceptible to wet AMD, which is why they account for the highest consumption of the related drugs.
Thus, the demand for wet AMD drugs is directly proportional to the increase in the geriatric population. And, as people focus on creating a healthier future for themselves, the consumption will eventually increase. The lack of a definitive cure for the disease also makes these drugs important for the aging population, to manage the symptoms and potentially slow the progression of the disorder.