Retina is a layer of nerve tissue lining the back of the eye. Retina receives light and convert it into neural signals, and send these signals to the brain for visual recognition. The central part of the retina is known as macula, which is responsible for central vision. The remaining tissue outside the macula is responsible for peripheral vision. There are many types of retinal diseases.
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Some of these diseases involve only the macula such as age-related macular degeneration, macular pucker (epiretinal membrane), or macular hole; other diseases can impact the entire retina such as retinal detachment or diabetic retinopathy. The treatment of retinal diseases ranges from administration of eye drops to surgical procedures such as laser therapy, vitreoretinal surgery, and intraocular injection. All these procedures are aimed to preserve the integrity of the retina.
There is an alarming rise in the incidence of eye-related diseases, especially in developed countries, which in turn is anticipated to drive the growth of the global retinal drugs market during the forecast period. According to an update from the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2016, about 93 million people had diabetic retinopathy worldwide, of which 4.2 million patients were from the U.S. Increasing health education initiatives about eye diseases to seek early treatment and prevent visual impairment in emerging regions are further anticipated to fuel the expansion of the global market for retinal drugs during the forecast period.
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Several initiatives have been undertaken across the globe to spread awareness about diagnosis and treatment methods of ophthalmic diseases. The International Centre for Eye Health focuses on increasing awareness about eye health problems and treatment. The World Glaucoma Association has been arranging World Glaucoma Congress for the past six years to increase awareness and discussion about glaucoma treatment advancements. Macular Degeneration Association, Inc. arranges seminars every month across various places to increase treatment penetration for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). These initiatives are expected to increase the adoption of various treatment methods which in turn is projected to fuel the growth of the market.
The global market for retinal drugs has been segmented on the basis of retinal disorder, distribution channel, and region. On the basis of retinal disorder, the market is segmented into macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, retinal detachment, retinoblastoma, macular pucker, macular hole, and others. In terms of distribution channel, the market is categorized into hospital pharmacies, online pharmacies, and independent pharmacies and drug stores. On the basis of region, the global retinal drugs market is distributed over North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa.
Globally, North America is expected to account for a significant share of the market in terms of revenue. High research and development activities in the field of ophthalmic drugs, rising patient population, and high disposable income are factors which are attributed to the high market share of the region. According to data published by Nano Retina (member of the Rainbow Medical Group), in 2014, about 170 million people were affected with AMD worldwide, of which 15 million people were from the U.S.
The number of people affected with AMD is expected to reach 288 million by 2040 globally. Europe is expected to hold the second largest share of the market owing to rising incidence of retinal disorders, increasing awareness among people about treatment options, and growing prevalence of diabetes. Asia Pacific is expected to show a strong growth rate during the forecast period. Large population of diabetic patients, increasing government initiatives to create awareness among people about eye disorders and treatment, rising investment by major players in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in emerging countries of the region such as India and China are expected to propel the growth of the Asia Pacific market.
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The global retinal drugs market is highly fragmented due to the participation of many global as well as new players. Major players operating in the market are Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Shire Plc, Bayer AG, Novartis International AG, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., and Merck & Co., Inc.