3D printed drugs are medicines that are designed using 3D printing technology to customize them for patients in safe and effective manner. These drugs possess unitary porous structural design that readily dissolve in the mouth, which prevent high-dosage medicines from being swallowed intact. Therefore, this type of medicine is useful for patients having swallowing difficulties such as children, elderly, and those ailing with Alzheimer’s disease, stroke complications, head or neck tumors, and other neurological disabilities.
Spritam (levetiracetam) tablets were the first 3D printed drug that received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These were developed by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals. However, after Spritam’s approval, various 3D printed implants and materials that likely to be deemed acceptable by FDA for usage in the medicine industry; however, no other drugs have been announced with the approval.
Factors driving the 3D printed drugs market include rise in demand of rapid soluble drugs, increase in elderly population, rise in rate of adoption of personalized drugs, increase in production of combination medicine, and high rate of adoption of 3D printing technology. Additionally, rampant technological advancements, rise in awareness about 3D printing, and improvements in the health care infrastructure are expected to propel the 3D printed drugs market. However, factors such as antagonistic effects pertaining to the use of these drugs, dearth of government regulations linked to these drugs, and usage of 3D printing to develop illegal drugs are estimated to hamper the market. Introduction of 3D printed drugs by several market players in developing nations and rise in health care investment in emerging countries are anticipated to create opportunities in the market during the forecast period.
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Based on application, the global 3D printed drugs market can be classified into orthopedic, hearing & audibility aid, medical implants, dental, neurology and others. The neurology segment is expected to account for a major share of the global market. In terms of region, the global 3D printed drugs market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America accounted for leading share of the global market in 2017. Asia Pacific is expected to account for a major share of the market during the forecast period. Growth of the pharmaceutical industry in this region due to rise in GDP is a major factor propelling the market. Additionally, rise in rate of adoption of advanced health care techniques by consumers owing to the increase in disposable income is expected to propel the market in Asia Pacific.
Major players operating in the global 3D printed drugs market include 3D Printer Drug Machine, Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, Hewlett Packard Caribe, BV, LLC, GlaxoSmithKline Plc. and FabRx Ltd. FabRx Ltd. Technologies Inc., Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, LLC. are the only existing players of global 3D printed drugs market and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is measured to be a potential player as the organization is planning to invest significantly in this industry. Organizations involved in research pertaining to 3D printed drugs are UCL School of Pharmacy, University of Glasgow, University College London, The University of Nottingham, and National University of Singapore.
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