Fungal infections occur due to unhygienic, damp, and unclean environment. They are caused by microscopic organisms that can invade the epithelial tissue. Most dermal infections are the tinea group of infections and are commonly observed in people. They affect nails, hair, scalp, and the skin in various areas of the body. Systemic fungal infections are caused by the ingestion or inhalation of spores and cause fungal pneumonia and opportunistic fungus causes diseases such as candidaisis, meningitis, mucormycosis and some others. There is a very broad base of fungal diseases in humans and infections are a common occurrence. Although most infections are non-lethal, they are very uncomfortable to live with and also create stigma or uneasiness for the patients and the people around them.
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Antifungal drugs act in various mechanisms such as in inhibition of cell wall formation, cell membrane disruption, and in inhibition of cell division. The market for antifungal therapies includes different applications such as drugs, powders, ointments, and pastes. Major market drivers include increasing unhygienic conditions in developed cities and countries around the world, increasing population coming in contact with resistant fungal strains and infections. The market is highly competitive at both global and local levels. The restraints for the market are the increasing resistance of fungi, use of traditional medicines to control fungus, and allergic reaction to some types of anti-fungal drugs such as azoles which cause anaphylaxis.
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The antifungal drugs market is considered to be a very popular over-the-counter drug segment particularly for dermal infections. Recent advances in technology and drug delivery has presented targeted therapy to be a vital part of antifungal drugs. Large numbers of physicians are gaining advantages from other technological advancements such as diagnostic tests and devices to extract and treat the correct strain of infection.
Conventional broad spectrum anti-biotics are not the choice of use now and it is predicted that the market will continue moving in the current focused trend in the coming years. Invasive aspergillosis is the new attention of most pharmaceutical companies and the leading cause of death in transplant operations in people. Generic competition of the drugs is very strong in the antifungal segment and is predicted to earn around 65% – 70% of total market revenues.