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1 Feb 2021

Innovation in Drug Delivery - Part One: The trend towards self-administration

By Yifei Chen and Yasemin Bettina Karanis, IQVIA

In the greater context of the patient journey, more emphasis is often assigned to molecular innovation, rather than the delivery of the drug.

However, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmaceutical and drug delivery companies have had to respond to capacity constraints of the healthcare system. One such change is that patient visits have plunged during the peak of the pandemic and levels have still not recovered to full capacity, as seen by IQVIA’s EU5 physicians’ survey. Mechanisms to improve medicine access and delivery for patients, such as moving toward self-administered rather than hospital-administered formulations, therefore will enter the priority lists for the industry.

Here we survey IQVIA’s MIDAS database, examining five-year trends (between 2015 and 2020) of injectable medicine sales data in different formulations. These are sorted by NFC123 codes, and injectables are defined as ampoules, infusions, pens and cartridges, prefilled syringes, and vials. From within, we defined self-administered and hospital-administered drugs based on NFC23 codes. The investigation spans across top therapy areas for injectables, and centre on what drives utilisation and growth toward self-administered drugs.

Figure 1. The split in global injectables market into hospital- and self-administered forms

From Figure 1, we see that self-administered injectables demonstrate growth both in relative and absolute terms, from occupying 41% ($119bn LCUSD) of the market in 2015 to 47% ($221bn LCUSD) in 2020. Within the injectables market, self-administered forms are emerging as important drug delivery systems, outpacing the overall injectables market growth with a 13% CAGR.

Figure 2. The split in self-administered injectables market into top therapy areas

In Figure 2, we take a deeper look into the top therapy areas for injectables to see which drive growth. The top performing therapy areas are autoimmune, antidiabetics, oncology, and multiple sclerosis. Autoimmune and diabetes drugs dominate the market share by far, with a combined worth of $130 bn. Growth is also driven by the autoimmune segment, which comprises the largest CAGR of 20% and the largest market share of $70bn. Across the past five years, it singly contributes to 41% of the overall self-administered growth.

In our next article, we will take a closer look at the therapy area dynamics for self-administered forms of injectables.

For more information on trends in packaging and devices, please email [email protected]


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