The Global Opioids Market was valued at US$ 17,132.5 million in 2015 and is projected to expand at a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period (2016–2024). Rising prevalence of chronic pain is expected to significantly support growth of the opioids market in the near future. According to American Legislative Exchange Council, in 2015, around 100 million people in the U.S. suffered from chronic pain, significantly more than the number of diabetic patients in the country. Opioids are a class of drugs that include potential pain relievers prescribed legally and also includes the illegal drug heroin. Pain relieving drugs are chemically related with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body. Use of prescribed opioid drug for a short period of time is safe for pain management. However, these drugs are frequently misused by taking the dose through a different route and in a greater quantity than the quantity actually prescribed, as they provide a sense of euphoria along with relieving pain. Such is the nature of opioid drugs that drug dependence can occur despite use as prescribed over prolonged use. Overdose of opioid pain relievers can be fatal. Furthermore, according to National Institute of Drug Abuse, there has been significant increase in deaths related to drug overdose, which involved the prescription opioid pain relievers and various federal and state laws have been applied to curb this epidemic. In 2011, the White House released an interagency strategy that focuses on federal agencies working in close coordination with states, education providers, parents, youth, patients and pharmacists. The main objective of the strategy is to increase awareness among the populace and across the value chain about consequences of prescription drug abuse and the requirement of appropriate prescribing, disposal and dispensing for effective prescription drug monitoring programs and also to enable exact medication disposal through prescription take-back initiatives.
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Stringent regulations by government of various economies regarding prescription of opioid has resulted in to reduced number of deaths caused due to overdose of opioids across various regions. Market players and research organizations are involved in developing novel applications of opioids, which in turn is expected to drive growth of the market. Furthermore, chronic pain is a major reason for purchase of legally prescribed opioids such as morphine and codeine. According to British Journal of Anesthesia, in 2013, around 20% of the population in Europe suffered from chronic pain, leading to an estimated economic burden of over US$ 250 billion in Europe and around US$ 150 billion per annum in the U.S. The pain relieving segment is projected to gain significant traction over the forecast period, owing to the various new product launches and extensive R&D activities leading to major product advancements, which is expected to drive growth of the market. Furthermore, significant number of collaborations and acquisitions in the opioids market is fueling growth of the market. In 2015, Depomed, Inc.—a specialty pharmaceuticals company focused on products to treat pain and other neurological conditions—officially entered into a definitive agreement to acquire NUCYNTA—a Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. franchise, in order to strengthen the pain management segment of the company. Furthermore, in 2016, China-based drug maker Humanwell Healthcare Group and PuraCap Pharmaceutical LLC.—a generic drug maker—entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% assets of Epic Pharma for US$ 550 Mn. This is expected to strengthen the company’s product portfolio by inclusion of drugs such as naltrexone and oxycodone hydrochloride.
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