The transition of injectable drug packaging from vials to sophisticated and customized injection devices is accelerating at a time when caregiver and patient expectations continue to evolve. The result is an emerging set of de facto requirements for drug developers that often dictates the device strategy for a particular parental drug. This trend is strongly aligned within and around specific drug classes and is accelerating with each new injectable that reaches the market.
The distinct characteristics of this evolution have their underpinnings in economic and competitive factors. For biological drugs indicated for chronic diseases, customized injection devices that help differentiate the combination drug–device product have achieved a strong position in five major drug classes. While small molecule drugs for refractory conditions are still often marketed in vials, their remaining share of the market continues to shrink as prefilled syringes proliferate. For several drug classes, including branded anticoagulants, the prefilled syringe share exceeds eighty percent.
For insulin, pen injectors dominate in Europe and their market share is increasing in the U.S. Injectables indicated for childhood illnesses also favor pens. For caregiver-delivered drugs, a new device class – the prefillable safety syringe – is set to drive the evolution in injectable devices further, as healthcare facilities strive to meet the requirements of needle safety legislation.
Greystone Associates (greystoneassociates.org) is a medical technology consulting firm focused on the areas of medical market strategy, product commercialization, venture development, and market research. We assist medical and healthcare market participants in achieving their business objectives through the creation of detailed development strategies, product commercialization programs, and comprehensive market and technology research and analysis. Our market research publications are designed, researched and written to provide timely and insightful information and data on focused market segments, with the aim of providing market participants with the essential knowledge to refine and execute their marketing plans and financial targets.