Opioids are analgesics that find widespread use in treating moderate to severe chronic pain in cancer patients or others who are terminally ill. They can be administered through different routes such as subcutaneous, oral, intramuscular routes, etc. The report classifies the opioids into three broad classes namely, strong agonists which include oxymorphone, fentanyl, and morphine, mild to moderate agonists which include hydroxycodone and codeine, and opioids with mixed receptor reactions such as pentazocine and buprenophrine.

At the forefront of driving growth in the global market for opioids is the growing number of patients afflicted with chronic pain worldwide. Doctors mostly prescribe medicines in the initial stages of pain before starting other treatments. The prescription drugs, besides being easy to ingest, are relatively affordable and are predicted to underpin growth in the opioids market. A factor working against the global market for opioids is the adverse side effects they cause such as vomiting, constipation, nausea, respiratory depression, and sedation, among others. Yet another major source of worry is their abuse which has resulted in a substantial increase in cases of opioid addiction worldwide. This has given rise to hundreds of billions of dollars of illegal trade in this drug. Apart from that, increased doses of opioid drugs prescribed to alleviate pain also ups the risk of overdose related deaths.

In order to fathom the competitive dynamics in the global market for opioids, the report examines the different types of opioids, namely endogenous which include enkephalins and endorphins, synthetic and semisynthetic opioids, and opium alkaloids. Of them, semisynthetic and synthetic opioids like fentanyl and oxycodone are expected to gain maximum market share in the foreseeable future because of their swift and potent analgesic activity.

Depending upon distribution channels, the report segregates the global market for opioids into retail pharmacies, online pharmacies, and hospital pharmacies. The hospital pharmacy segment, among them leads the market with maximum demand for pain killers.  Geographically, North America is a dominant market for opioids because of a large pool of people suffering from pain. Europe comes a close second owing to high incidence of orthopedic conditions and cancer. Asia Pacific is another crucial market whose growth is being powered mainly by the countries of India, China, and Japan.

Important players in the global opioids market profiled in the report are Pfizer, Inc., Mylan N.V., Purdue Pharma, QRxpharma limited, Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., and AbbVie Inc.

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