Anti-infective agents are drugs used for the purpose of killing and/or suppressing the infection causing organisms from invading the host by means of its replication or releasing variety of toxins into the host. Infection causing micro-organisms include bacteria, viruses, fungi, viroids, and macro parasites. Infections thus caused can be classified depending on type of organism causing the infection and symptoms and medical signs shown by the host.
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The anti-infective market has been continuously expanding and the pharmaceutical sector generates higher profit margin than any other sector globally. Rise in the number of hospitals and primary care clinics also boosts the demand for anti-infective drugs. Currently, antimicrobial resistance is a major risk factor to the industry and as per the World Health Organization (WHO) last year, 480,000 people develop multi-drug resistance against tuberculosis drugs every year. Similarly, Staphylococcus aureus produces methicillin resistance in various region of the world. This is of paramount concern to the anti-infectives market at the present.
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Key drivers of the anti-infective market include increase in the number of patients, new drug introductions, and significant number of vaccines gaining approvals. Rise in resistance of infection causing organisms to the existing drug therapies is anticipated to pose a major challenge to the anti-infective market. Furthermore, high price of drugs, dicey reimbursement policies, and competition between generic manufacturers are expected to hinder the growth of the anti-infective market. The anti-infective market is highly fragmented due to the presence of a large number of domestic and international players. The focus of developing anti-infective agents has shifted to antiviral agents due to requirement of longer treatment regimens in a large number of patients with chronic indications as compared to antibacterial and antifungal agents requiring shorter treatments.
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The global anti-infective market can be classified, based on product type, as antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterials. The antibacterials segment can be further divided into macrolides, cephalosporins, carbopenems, penicillins, quinolones, sulfonamides, tetracyclines, and others. Antibacterials is a high revenue generating segment as compared to the other segments due to the high prescription rates of the antibacterial products. The antifungals segment includes azoles, echinocandins, and polyenes.
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