Combination drug also referred to as fixed dose combination (FDC), is a formulation which includes two or more active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The dosage is distributed in certain fixed doses. Initially, fixed dose combination products were produced for targeting single diseases for example antiretroviral combination drugs were manufactured for targeting AIDS. However, with the advancements, in research and development activities currently combination drugs are being manufactured for targeting multiple disease conditions such as Exforge (amlodipine/valsartan) or Caduet (atorvastatin/amlodipine). Improved medication compliance by reducing the pill burden of patient and ability to compose combined profiles (pharmacokinetics, adverse effects and effects) that may be limited to single dosage form are some of the advantages associated with uptake of combination drugs.
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Factors such as increase in geriatric population, investment in R&D and improved understanding of the nature of diseases are driving the combination drugs diagnostic market growth globally. Since, aged population is more prone to infectious disease therefore; increase in geriatric population will likely increase the demand for combination drugs diagnostics market worldwide. Additionally, as per the World Health Organization, by 2020 nearly 14.1% of the world population will suffer from neurologic disorders which would further lure manufacturers for the production of combination drugs. Similarly, as per American Diabetes Association, in 2011 25.8 million Americans were diagnosed with diabetes and total cost of treatment reached USD 245 billion. Hence, to effectively address the needs of patients, combination drugs are being launched in the market. Atripla, Combivir, Kaletra, Truvada, Trizivir, Excalia, Symbax, Contrave, Symbicort, Advair/ Seretide, Flutiform, Janumet, Duovent, Berodual, Augmentin, Bacterin, Primaxin, Zosyn and others are some of the popular combination drugs available for the treatment of various disorders.
The market for combination drugs diagnostics market can be analyzed on the basis of products and applications of fixed-dose combination drugs. Combination drugs are utilized for the treatment of cardiovascular disease (hypertension and hypercholesterolemia) and infectious diseases (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, bacterial infections, HIV infection, Helicobacter pylori and tuberculosis). The FDCs are also utilized for the treatment of diabetes, psychiatric disorders (Alzheimer’s disease and depression) and respiratory diseases (COPD and Asthma). Some of the combination drugs are also used as oral contraceptives, vaccine products and radioactive combination drugs.
Geographically, North America is witnessed to be the largest regional players for combination drugs diagnostics market. The region accounts for more than 30% share of the global combination drugs market. The dominance of this region is witnessed due to extensive research and development activities and presence of major market players in this region. Moreover, increasing awareness among people about diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and government initiatives will further accentuate the combination products market in this region. Europe held the second largest share for combination drugs diagnostics market followed by Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World. Asia-Pacific is considered as an emerging market due to strong forecasted economic growth (healthcare infrastructure, healthcare facility and product expansion) in some Asian countries such as India, China, Japan and Malaysia.
Some of the major players of the global combination drugs diagnostic market include Merck, & Co, Inc. AstraZeneca Plc, Bristol Myers Squibb, Orexigen Therapeutics, Astellas Pharma, Vivus, Roche Diagnostics, Bayer AG, Sanofi, Novartis AG, Pfizer Inc. and others. These players have worldwide presence and are involved in constant competition with each other. Hospitals, private clinics, patients and physicians are major customers for combination drugs.