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  • Published In : Mar 2024
  • Code : CMI2332
  • Pages :188
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Pharmaceutical

Market Size and Trends

The oncology drugs market is estimated to be valued at USD 231.56 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 532.91 Bn by 2031, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6% from 2024 to 2031.

Oncology Drugs Market Key Factors

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The market is witnessing positive trends driven by the increasing prevalence of cancer worldwide. Advanced technologies in drug development have enabled better drug targeting and reduced side-effects. Besides this, rising healthcare spending and demand for affordable cancer treatments especially in developing nations provide attractive opportunities for market players. However, patent expirations of blockbuster drugs pose a significant challenge along with stringent regulations for drug approval. Nonetheless, the market remains promising with continued investments in R&D to develop innovative oncology therapeutics.

Rising cancer prevalence globally

The prevalence of cancer cases has seen a consistent rise globally over the past few decades. Various factors such as growing elderly population, lifestyle changes, increasing exposure to pollution, and carcinogens have contributed to this rise. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), issued the estimates of the worldwide cancer burden. According to the IARC, 20 million new cancer diagnoses and 9.7 million deaths occurred in 2022. The expected number of people who survived 5 years after a cancer diagnosis was 53.5 million. Cancer affects around one in every five persons in their lifetime, with one in every nine men and one in every twelve women dying from it. With a rapidly ageing worldwide population susceptible to developing cancer, coupled with the prevalence of known causes such as smoking, alcohol use, etc., cancer diagnoses rates are expected to continue surging well into the future. This rising prevalence of cancer cases across the globe directly translates to the increasing demand for cancer treatments including oncology drugs. While surgery and radiation continue to be important treatment modalities, pharmaceutical therapies have become the mainstay of treatment with the rapid advancement in targeted therapies and immunotherapies.

Market Concentration and Competitive Landscape

Oncology Drugs Market Concentration By Players

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Adoption of targeted therapies and immunotherapies

The oncology drugs market has witnessed a paradigm shift over the last decade with the introduction and rising adoption of targeted therapy and immunotherapy drug classes. While chemotherapy continues to play an important role, targeted therapies which impact specific molecular pathways driving cancer growth and immunotherapies which activate the body's immune system to fight cancer cells have transformed the treatment landscape. Some key advantages of these newer therapies over chemotherapy include higher specificity leading to fewer side effects, prospect of long-term disease control and in some cases, potential for cure. Notable successes in clinical practice with drugs such as Herceptin, Gleevec, and Keytruda have boosted physicians’ confidence in these precision medicines. There is also greater understanding among patients regarding the advantages of newer options compared to toxic chemotherapy regimens. As a result, the adoption rates of targeted therapies and immunotherapies are rapidly rising, especially in developed markets.

Oncology Drugs Market Key Takeaways From Lead Analyst

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Market Challenges: High development costs

The oncology drugs market faces several challenges. High development costs and long approval times strain pharmaceutical company resources. As cancer treatments become more targeted and personalized, high costs may limit patient access. Generic competition threatens revenue for major drugs approaching patent cliffs. Despite increased understanding, cancer remains difficult to prevent and cure, necessitating continued research investment amid an increasingly difficult funding environment.

Market Opportunities: Advances in molecular biology and diagnostics

An aging global population contributes to higher cancer incidence and creates demand. Advances in molecular biology and diagnostics enable more precise targeting of cancer biology. Large patient populations and willingness to pay for breakthrough treatments support development in even rare cancers. Companion diagnostics and biomarkers could further personalize care. Growth areas include immunotherapy, combination therapies, and treatments for cancers with high unmet needs.

Insights, By Drug Type: Advances in Research Drive the Growth of Targeted Drugs

The drug type segment includes cytotoxic drugs, targeted drugs, hormonal drugs, and others. Targeted drugs segment is anticipated to hold 38.9% of the market share in 2024. Targeted therapies are designed to interfere with specific molecules involved in cancer cell progression and growth, resulting in fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy. Continuous progress in deciphering the molecular and genetic alterations that drive tumor development has enabled the design of an array of targeted agents. Areas witnessing major breakthroughs include cancer immunotherapies, PARP inhibitors for ovarian and breast cancers, BCR-ABL inhibitors for chronic myeloid leukemia, and therapies targeting EGFR and ALK mutations in lung cancer. Major pharmaceutical companies have heavily invested in targeted drug R&D given their high selectivity and commercial potential. Notable drug approvals in recent years include Pfizer's Ibrance for breast cancer, Merck's Keytruda for various solid tumors, and Novartis' Kisqali.

Insights, By Cancer Type: Breast Cancer Awareness Drives Detection and Treatment

The cancer type segment includes lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, blood cancer, bladder cancer, and others. Breast cancer contributes the highest share of the oncology drugs market and is projected to hold 23.8% of the market share in 2024. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women worldwide, with over 2 million new cases each year. Extensive public awareness campaigns by prominent organizations such as Susan G. Komen and Think Pink have educated women on the importance of self-exams and mammography screening. As a result, breast cancer is often detected at early, more treatable stages compared to other cancer types. Developed nations have national mammography programs that screen a high proportion of women aged 50 to 69 years. Examples include the Breast Cancer Screening Program in the U.K. and the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program in the U.S. Early detection coupled with the wide range of treatment options available, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and newer targeted therapies, have significantly improved breast cancer survival rates over the past few decades.


Oncology Drugs Market By Distribution Channel

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Insights, By Distribution Channel: Hospital Pharmacies Command Leading Distribution Share

The distribution channel segment includes hospital pharmacies, retail pharmacies, and online pharmacies. Hospital pharmacies contributes the highest share of the oncology drugs market and is projected to hold 55.6% of the market share in 2024. The majority of oncology drugs are administered in hospitals either through intravenous infusions or as take-home oral medications following inpatient treatment. Hospital pharmacies have well-established procurement systems that can stock the extensive formulary of high-cost cancer drugs needed across departments like medical oncology, radiation oncology, and surgical oncology. They also have specialized compounding facilities to prepare parenteral chemotherapy regimens under strict safety protocols. As cancer centers upgrade facilities and hire more oncologists, inpatient and outpatient chemotherapy services within hospitals have rapidly expanded. The convenience of "one-stop" cancer care including pharmacy services encourages patients to source their ongoing treatment needs directly from hospitals. Ongoing clinical trials of new drugs and combination regimens also occur primarily in hospitals. Their relationships with pharmaceutical suppliers further enable contractual agreements for discounted pricing and better inventory management. As a result, hospital pharmacies remain the central nexus for oncology drug distribution.

Regional Insights

Oncology Drugs Market Regional Insights

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North America has established itself as a dominant region in the global oncology drugs market and is projected to hold 44.7% of the market share in 2024. With a strong presence of leading biopharmaceutical companies and healthcare infrastructure, the U.S. alone accounts for over 40% of the market share. Companies based in the U.S. have been at the forefront of R&D for novel anti-cancer therapies. This has ensured early approvals and commercial launches of innovative oncology drugs. Additionally, higher acceptance of premium-priced specialty drugs among patients and physicians has enabled companies to successfully penetrate the market with their new drug offerings. However, recently some pricing pressure has been witnessed due to initiatives to curb rising healthcare costs.

The Asia Pacific region has emerged as the fastest growing market for oncology drugs. Improving accessibility to healthcare along with a rise in disposable incomes in nations, such as China and India, are supporting market expansion. These countries also offer lower manufacturing and R&D costs, attracting biopharmaceutical players to boost the local production of generics and biosimilars through partnerships with local players. This is positively impacting the affordability of oncology treatment. Furthermore, increasing patient awareness about early detection and the management of cancer indicates long-term market potential. Japan holds an important position as well with the universal health coverage ensuring widespread access. However, pricing regulations remain strict, necessitating innovative reimbursement and access strategies.

Market Report Scope

Oncology Drugs Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 231.56 BN
Historical Data for: 2019 To 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 To 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 12.6% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 532.91 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, and Russia, 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 Distribution Channel: Hospital Pharmacies, Retail Pharmacies, and Online Pharmacies
  • Drug Type: Cytotoxic Drugs (Alkylating Agents, Antimetabolites, Others), Targeted Drugs (Monoclonal Antibodies, Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors, Others, Hormonal Drugs, and Others
  • Cancer Type : Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Blood Cancer, Bladder Cancer, and Others
  • By Therapy: Chemotherapy, Targeted Therapy, Immunotherapy, and Others
  • By Route of Administration: Oral and Parental (Intramuscular, Intravenous, Subcutaneous )
Companies covered:

Pfizer Inc., Novartis AG, AstraZeneca PLC, Gilead Sciences Inc., Amgen Inc., Sanofi AG, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Merck & Co., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., GSK plc, Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Eli Lilly and Company, BeiGene LTD, Astellas Pharma Inc., AbbVie Inc., Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, and Daiichi Sankyo

Growth Drivers:
  • Rising cancer prevalence globally
  • Adoption of targeted therapies and immunotherapies
Restraints & Challenges:
  • High development costs
  • Stringent government regulations

Key Developments

  • On March 7, 2024, Bristol Myers Squibb, a multinational pharmaceutical company, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Opdivo (nivolumab) in combination with cisplatin and gemcitabine for the first-line treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC), the most common form of bladder cancer.
  • On January 25, 2024, Alphamab Oncology, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, and 3DMedicines, a leading innovative biopharmaceutical company, announced that they have entered into a license agreement with Glenmark Specialty S.A., a subsidiary of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a pharmaceutical company, for the subcutaneous injection PD-L1 antibody drug, pursuant to which Glenmark was granted exclusive licensing interests in clinical development and commercialization of oncology in India, Asia Pacific (except Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia), the Middle East and Africa, Russia, CIS, and Latin America.
  • On January 12, 2024, Merck & Co., Inc., a multinational pharmaceutical company, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved KEYTRUDA, Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy, in combination with chemoradiotherapy (CRT), for the treatment of patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) 2014 Stage III-IVA cervical cancer.
  • On January 8, 2024, Johnson & Johnson, a healthcare company, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ambrx Biopharma, Inc., or Ambrx, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that uses a proprietary synthetic biology technology platform to design and develop next-generation antibody drug conjugates (ADCs). Ambrx is advancing a focused portfolio of clinical and preclinical initiatives designed to maximize the efficacy and safety of its potential candidate in several cancer indications.

*Definition: The oncology drugs market consists of pharmaceutical drugs that are used for treating cancer patients. It includes chemotherapeutic agents that interfere with cell division or inhibit specific enzymes and molecules involved in tumor growth and progression. The key drugs in this market are targeted therapies, immunotherapy drugs, hormonal therapy, and various supportive care drugs. Major players in this market are focusing on developing novel targeted therapies, combination therapies, and personalized medicine approaches for better treatment outcomes of cancer patients.

Market Segmentation

  • Distribution Channel Insights (Revenue, USD BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Hospital Pharmacies
    • Retail Pharmacies
    • Online Pharmacies
  • Drug Type Insights (Revenue, USD BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Cytotoxic Drugs
      • Alkylating Agents
      • Antimetabolites
      • Others
    • Targeted Drugs
      • Monoclonal Antibodies
      • Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors
      • Others
    • Hormonal Drugs
      • Ovarian Function Blockers
      • Estrogen Production Blockers
      • Others
    • Others
  • Cancer Type Insights (Revenue, USD BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Lung Cancer
    • Breast Cancer
    • Colorectal Cancer
    • Prostate Cancer
    • Blood Cancer
    • Bladder Cancer
    • Others
  • Therapy Insights (Revenue, USD BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Chemotherapy
    • Targeted Therapy
    • Immunotherapy
    • Others
  • Route of Administration Insights (Revenue, USD BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Oral
    • Parental
      • Intramuscular 
      • Intravenous 
      • Subcutaneous 
  • Regional Insights (Revenue, USD BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
    • Latin America
      • Brazil
      • Argentina
      • Mexico
      • Rest of Latin America
    • Europe
      • Germany
      • U.K.
      • Spain
      • France
      • Italy
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • Australia
      • South Korea
      • ASEAN
      • Rest of Asia Pacific
    • Middle East
      • GCC Countries
      • Israel
      • Rest of Middle East
    • Africa
      • South Africa
      • North Africa
      • Central Africa
  • Key Players Insights
    • Pfizer Inc.
    • Novartis AG
    • AstraZeneca PLC
    • Gilead Sciences Inc.
    • Amgen Inc.
    • Sanofi AG
    • F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG
    • Merck & Co.
    • Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
    • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.
    • GSK plc
    • Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
    • Eli Lilly and Company
    • BeiGene LTD
    • Astellas Pharma Inc.
    • AbbVie Inc.
    • Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
    • Daiichi Sankyo

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR of the oncology drugs market is projected to be 12.6% from 2024 to 2031.

Rising cancer prevalence globally and adoption of targeted therapies and immunotherapies are the major factors driving the growth of the oncology drugs market.

High development costs and stringent government regulations are the major factors hampering the growth of the oncology drugs market.

In terms of distribution channel, hospital pharmacies is estimated to dominate the market revenue share in 2024.

Pfizer Inc., Novartis AG, AstraZeneca PLC, Gilead Sciences Inc., Amgen Inc., Sanofi AG, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Merck & Co., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., GSK plc, Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Eli Lilly and Company, BeiGene LTD, Astellas Pharma Inc., AbbVie Inc., Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, and Daiichi Sankyo are the major players.

North America is expected to lead the oncology drugs market.

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