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  • Published In : Oct 2023
  • Code : CMI6211
  • Pages :170
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Pharmaceutical

Global eye flu (conjunctivitis) market size is expected to reach US$ 7.77 billion by 2030, from US$ 4.54 billion in 2023, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.0% during the forecast period. Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, refers to inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin transparent layer of tissue lining the inner eyelid and covering the white part of the eye. It is caused by viruses, bacteria, irritants, allergens or physical injury. Typical symptoms include redness, itching, burning sensation, discharge and blurry vision. Antibiotics, antihistamines and corticosteroids are commonly used for treatment. Rising prevalence of eye infections, growing aging population, product development, and increasing awareness about eye infections are key factors driving the market growth. Global eye flu (conjunctivitis) market is segmented in by disease type, route of administration, drug class, distribution channel, end user and region. By disease type, the viral conjunctivitis segment accounts for the largest share owing to high recurrence and contagious nature.

Global Eye Flu (Conjunctivitis) Market- Regional Insights

North America is expected to be the largest market for eye flu (conjunctivitis) market during the forecast period, accounting for over 35.8% of the market share in 2023. North America market growth is attributed to high diagnosis rates, accessibility to advanced treatments, presence of key players and favorable reimbursements.

The Europe market is expected to be the second-largest market for eye flu (conjunctivitis) market, accounting for over 28.2% of the market share in 2023. Europe market growth is attributed to rising prevalence of allergies and government initiatives promoting awareness.

The Asia Pacific market is expected to be the fastest-growing market for eye flu (conjunctivitis) market, with a CAGR of 9.7% during the forecast period. Asia Pacific market growth is attributed to untapped opportunities, improving healthcare expenditure and growing elderly population.

Figure 1. Global Eye Flu (Conjunctivitis) Market Share (%), By Region, 2023


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Analyst’s View

The eye flu or conjunctivitis market continues to grow as the disease remains highly contagious. The primary drivers for the market are rising incidence rates of both bacterial and viral conjunctivitis. Changing lifestyles and lack of hygiene have contributed to the increasing spread of these infections. Additionally, growth will be fueled by rising healthcare spending in developing regions to treat eye diseases. However, the market also faces restraints from viral and antibiotic resistance. Overuse of antibiotics for conjunctivitis has likely led to greater antibiotic resistance over time. This could reduce the efficacy of treatment options. Furthermore, many conjunctivitis cases resolve on their own without medication, which may curb demand for treatments.

Global Eye Flu (Conjunctivitis) Market- Drivers

  • Increasing prevalence of conjunctivitis worldwide: Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, refers to inflammation of the conjunctiva which is the thin transparent layer of tissue lining the inner eyelid and covering the white part of the eye. Rising prevalence of conjunctivitis globally is a major factor driving the market growth. According to the WHO, in 2021, conjunctivitis affected over 5 million individuals annually in the U.S. The increasing incidence can be attributed to factors such as growing pollution levels, recurrent exposure to irritants, poor hygiene, and increasing use of contact lenses. The contagious nature of certain types of conjunctivitis also contributes to widespread transmission. With growing awareness and easier access to medical facilities, more patients are getting diagnosed and treated for conjunctivitis, thereby, fueling market growth.
  • Rapid growth in aging population: The elderly demographic is at a higher risk of developing conjunctivitis due to weakened immune system. Age-related changes in mucus viscosity and eyelid anatomy also increase susceptibility. According to United Nations data published in 2021, the global geriatric population will reach 2.1 billion by 2050. Growing aging population, especially in developed nations, is anticipated to boost demand for associated ophthalmic drugs and treatments. Pharmaceutical firms are investing heavily in R&D to introduce effective therapies for aged patients. Product innovations and differentiated pricing strategies targeted at seniors further expand the consumer base.
  • Continued product development and pipeline robustness: Rising investments by biopharma companies in enhancing their conjunctivitis drug pipeline and expanding product portfolios cater to unmet patient needs are expecetd to drive the market growth. For instance, in October 2021, Ocular Therapeutix, a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the formulation, development, and commercialization of innovative therapies for diseases and conditions of the eye, received U.S. FDA approval for DEXTENZA, a corticosteroid intracanalicular insert for treatment of ocular inflammation and pain following ophthalmic surgery. Prior to that, Eyevance Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company; launched ZERVIATE in 2020, the first topical ophthalmic formulation of cetirizine for allergic conjunctivitis.
  • Higher awareness and access to eye care: Various public health initiatives by governments and NGOs to promote eye health awareness especially in developing regions has led to higher screening rates and adoption of preventive care. The provision of free or subsidized treatment in public ophthalmology centers and hospitals is improving access and providing cost benefits. This is reinforced by specialized national programs such as Vision 2020 by WHO focusing on prevention of blindness. Furthermore, the availability of OTC medications coupled with the convenience of e-pharmacies has led to increased self-medication rates, thereby, bolstering the market growth.

Global Eye Flu (Conjunctivitis) Market- Opportunities

  • Unmet demand in emerging economies: Developing nations across Latin America, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa possess massive underdeveloped markets characterized by untreated patient pools, low access to eye care facilities and lack of awareness. This represents significant opportunities for conjunctivitis drug development and distribution by multinational corporations as well as domestic firms. Local partnerships, cost-effective pricing and education outreach programs can help to capture larger shares. For instance, pharmaceutical companies are collaborating with NGOs and government institutions to conduct mass screening camps in rural areas. The introduction of single-dose, preservative-free formulations catering to price-sensitive consumers also aids the market growth.
  • Development of novel drug delivery mechanisms: Conventional topical eye drop and ointment formulations for conjunctivitis treatment often result in poor drug bioavailability and patient compliance owing to repetitive administration and dosage. This s led ophthalmic firms to explore advanced drug delivery solutions such as nanomicelles, liposomes, dendrimers and collagen shields that promise extended release of active ingredients, higher penetration and reduced frequency of use. For example, researchers are assessing potential of contact lenses and intracanalicular inserts that can provide sustained medication release. The launch of such innovative delivery mechanisms can help overcome the challenges associated with existing options.
  • Rising incidence of allergic conjunctivitis: Allergic conjunctivitis represents one of the most common forms of eye inflammation and accounts for a significant portion of conjunctivitis cases worldwide. The condition is caused by an immunological hypersensitivity reaction to allergens such as pollen, animal dander, dust mites, cosmetics, lens solutions, and others. Several survey reports in 2020, indicated that climate change has resulted in extended pollen seasons and changing pollen distribution patterns leading to higher occurrence of allergic conjunctivitis, especially in urban areas. Pharmaceutical firms stand to gain from growing demand for anti-allergy ophthalmic formulations such as antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers and dual-action drugs.

Eye Flu (Conjunctivitis) Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 4.54 Bn
Historical Data for: 2017 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 8% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 7.77 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East:  GCC Countries, Israel, and Rest of Middle East  
  • Africa: South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa 
Segments covered:
  • By Disease Type: Viral Conjunctivitis, Bacterial Conjunctivitis, Allergic Conjunctivitis, Chemical Conjunctivitis, Others
  • By Route of Administration: Topical, Oral, Intravenous
  • By Drug Class: Antibiotics, Anti-allergy, Anti-inflammatories, Combination, Others
  • By Distribution Channel: Hospital Pharmacies, Retail Pharmacies, Online Pharmacies
Companies covered:

Novartis AG, Allergan, Bausch Health, Santen Pharmaceutical, Johnson & Johnson, Alembic Pharmaceuticals, Akorn Pharmaceuticals, Alcon, Pfizer, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Merck & Co., Similasan Corporation, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Prestige Consumer Healthcare, Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Alembic Pharmaceuticals, Aurolab, Intas Pharmaceuticals, Sun Pharma, Cipla

Growth Drivers:
  • Increasing prevalence of conjunctivitis worldwide
  • Rapid growth in aging population
  • Continued product development and pipeline robustness
  • Higher awareness and access to eye care
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Side effects and risks associated with drugs
  • Misdiagnosis and lack of laboratory facilities

Global Eye Flu (Conjunctivitis) Market- Trends

  • Combination drug therapies gaining momentum: The emerging trend of combining drugs with complementary mechanisms of action into a single formulation for synergistic therapeutic benefits is gaining popularity. For instance, combining antibiotics with corticosteroids allows simultaneous treatment of infection and inflammation in bacterial conjunctivitis. Dual-action drugs also improve compliance due to reduced dosage frequency compared to multiple drugs. In 2022, Ocular Therapeutix, a biopharmaceutical company developing transformational treatments that enhance people's vision; received the U.S. FDA approval for DEXTENZA, a combination intracanalicular insert of dexamethasone and polyethene glycol for post-surgery ocular pain and inflammation. Such innovations are driving the shift towards combination conjunctivitis therapies.
  • Strong focus on OTC medications: Over-the-counter (OTC) eye care products for conjunctivitis are witnessing high demand owing to self-medication trends, easier availability and cost-effectiveness compared to prescription drugs. This is reinforced by the launch of generic and store brand alternatives by retail chains. Key players are strengthening their OTC product portfolios through new solution variants and packaging innovations catering to mild conjunctivitis cases and symptom relief.
  • Strategic collaborations and M&A activity: Increasing mergers and acquisitions as well as collaborations between drug manufacturers, research institutes and distribution partners is molding market dynamics. Such strategic deals allow companies to expand their product portfolio, enter new markets, and leverage combined expertise for drug innovation. For instance, in 2021, Santen, a healthcare company; partnered with Arctic Vision, a developer of therapeutics for vision enhancement; to develop an ophthalmic solution for inflammatory eye diseases in China and Asia. In 2020, Eyevance, a healthcare company; acquired global rights for ZERVIATE, an antihistamine eye drop, through a licensing deal with Nicox. The trend of derisking through strategic alliances and consolidations is expected to continue, presenting growth avenues.

Global Eye Flu (Conjunctivitis) Market- Restraints

  • Side effects and risks associated with drugs: Most pharmaceutical conjunctivitis treatments such as antibiotics and steroids come with adverse effects that limit their usage and adoption. Prolonged antibiotic exposure can lead to development of resistant bacterial strains. Steroids heighten chances of secondary infections and increase intraocular pressure. Other side effects include ocular discomfort, blurred vision, eye irritation, and others. Concerns regarding effects on pediatric and geriatric patients also exist. Stringent approval criteria owing to associated risks restrain the market growth to an extent. This boosts demand for natural and homeopathic alternatives with lower occurrence of side effects.
  • Misdiagnosis and lack of laboratory facilities: In remote areas and developing countries, lack of proper diagnostic facilities and trained ophthalmologists results in inaccurate diagnosis of conjunctivitis, leading to delayed treatment and improper medication. Over-the-counter use of antibiotics for presumed bacterial conjunctivitis also promotes resistance and aggravates conditions. The overlap of symptoms between different forms of conjunctivitis makes definitive diagnosis difficult in absence of laboratory investigations. These factors restrain market expansion to an extent. Access to telemedicine and molecular testing kits can help overcome diagnostic challenges.

Figure 2. Global Eye Flu (Conjunctivitis) Market Share (%), By Disease Type, 2023


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Global Eye Flu (Conjunctivitis) Market- Recent Developments

New product launches

  • In March 2020, Eyevance Pharmaceuticals, a company that focuses on developing and commercializing innovative and impactful ophthalmic products, announced the launch of ZERVIATE in the U.S., the first topical ophthalmic formulation of cetirizine for allergic conjunctivitis. The product is formulated with Hydrella, the vehicle that contains glycerin and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), two very common ingredients found in tear lubricants; therefore, delivering the cetirizine molecule to the eye with optimal ocular comfort.
  • In February 2020, Alcon, a company that focuses on delivering new eye care products and solutions that meet the needs of patients and consumers; launched prescription-strength Pataday as a convenient, more easily accessible, over-the-counter option to relieve the itchy eyes that almost 1-in-5 Americans experience due to ocular allergies

Acquisitions and partnerships

In June 2020, Arctic Vision, a China-based biotech company that focuses on innovative ophthalmic therapies; acquired exclusive rights to develop and commercialize ARVN001, a potential treatment for allergic conjunctivitis in China from Aerie Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapies for the treatment of patients with glaucoma.

In September 2022, Ocular Therapeutix, a biopharmaceutical company developing transformational treatments that enhance people's vision and quality of life; acquired exclusive worldwide rights to Spectrum Pharmaceutical’s, a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on acquiring, developing, and commercializing novel and targeted oncology therapies; which developed  poziotinib, which was previously in development for ocular lymphoma and conjunctivitis.

Top companies in Global Eye Flu (Conjunctivitis) Market

  • Novartis AG
  • Allergan
  • Bausch Health
  • Santen Pharmaceutical
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Alembic Pharmaceuticals
  • Akorn Pharmaceuticals
  • Alcon, Pfizer
  • Valeant Pharmaceuticals
  • Merck & Co.
  • Similasan Corporation
  • Sun Pharmaceutical Industries
  • Prestige Consumer Healthcare
  • Lupin Pharmaceuticals
  • Alembic Pharmaceuticals
  • Aurolab
  • Intas Pharmaceuticals
  • Sun Pharma
  • Cipla

Definition: The eye flu (conjunctivitis) market refers to the industry and commerce revolving around the diagnosis and treatment of conjunctivitis or pink eye. Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin transparent layer of tissue lining the white part of the eye and inner eyelids. Pharmaceutical treatments, over-the-counter medications, surgeries and other medical solutions for conjunctivitis fall under the scope of this market.

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR is expected to be 8%.  

North America is expected to lead the global eye flu (conjunctivitis) market.

Novartis AG, Allergan, Bausch Health, Santen Pharmaceutical, Johnson & Johnson, and other prominent players

Viral conjunctivitis is the leading disease type segment owing to high recurrence and contagious nature.

Increasing prevalence of conjunctivitis worldwide, rapid growth in aging population, continued product development and pipeline robustness, and higher awareness and access to eye care are some of the major driving factors that can drive the market growth during the forecast period.

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