The advancements in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, in order to meet the demand for effective ways to fight different diseases, have led to the development of various drug delivery methods – and pharmaceutical aerosols are one of them. Pharmaceutical aerosols are products that contain therapeutically active ingredients and are packaged under pressure, dissolved or suspended in a propellant and are released upon the activation of a suitable valve system. These pharmaceutical aerosols are generally intended for application on skin, through nose, or mouth. Pharmaceutical propellants are one of the many components of a pharmaceutical aerosol system.
The pharmaceutical propellants can be regarded as the soul of an aerosol system, which develop and supply appropriate pressure to force the product to come out when the valve is opened. The pharmaceutical propellants also act as diluents or solvents and usually define the characteristics of the product when it comes out of the container. The primary function of pharmaceutical propellants is to provide the necessary pressure, delivery and spray characteristics. The proper vapour pressure characteristics of pharmaceutical propellants are highly recommended in order to work consistently with the other aerosol components. Within the aerosol container, the pharmaceutical propellants and product concentrate – including the active ingredient – exist in an equilibrium vapour phase condition. As soon as the valve is opened, the pressure developed inside the container, mainly due to the vapour pressure of the pharmaceutical propellants, forces the product (active ingredient) to come out of the container. Depending upon the use and route of aerosol administration, different types of pharmaceutical propellants are used in a particular aerosol system such as hydrocarbons and compressed gases. Owing to the rise in the usage in the pharmaceutical aerosols, the demand for pharmaceutical propellants is also expected to create fairly optimistic market opportunities over the coming years, and their market is expected to increase at a significant annual growth rate over the forecast period of 2017 – 2027.
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Pharmaceutical Propellants Market: Industry Dynamics
For a very long period of time, the healthcare industry could only provide drugs that are either consumed orally or as injectable. However, with the development of effective medication techniques, time-release pharmaceutical and target area specific medication are becoming more common, though, complex. Researchers have found that the potency or medical effect of a particular drug remains limited or is otherwise reduced before it reaches the affected area in the body, and this is where the drug delivery plays its role. The notion behind the development of novel drug delivery methodologies is to deploy the particular active ingredient at the specific body part within a shorter timeframe so that its effects can be maximized during the treatment. With the same view, the pharmaceutical aerosol system has been developed in which a particular medication can be deployed directly to the affected area in a desired form. Pharmaceutical propellants, being the integral part of aerosol systems, are also gaining the attention of researchers and scientists in the development of aerosol based drug delivery systems. Various advancements in the aerosol based drug delivery systems have been witnessed i.e. in the technology, devices, formulation and application of pulmonary drug delivery systems, wherein, the pharmaceutical propellants are playing a crucial role.
The basic properties of pharmaceutical propellants include chemical inertness, non-toxic, non-flammable, and good vapour pressure characteristics. Various chemical compounds, owning to these properties, have been in use as pharmaceutical propellants, such as, chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellants, hydrocarbon based propellants and compressed gas propellants. However, due to the environmental effects, the use of certain CFC based and hydrocarbon based pharmaceutical propellants are being regulated by various government and environmental organizations and manufacturers are focused to develop products aligned with the global trend of sustainability.
Pharmaceutical Propellants Market: Segmentation
The market for pharmaceutical propellants can be segmented on the basis of type and region. On the basis of type, the pharmaceutical propellants market can be segmented as following:
- Liquefied Gases Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) Hydro Chlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) Hydro Fluorocarbons (HFC) Hydrocarbons
- Compressed Gases Nitrogen (N2) Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Among regions, North America and Europe, collectively, are expected to remain the key markets for pharmaceutical propellants owing to their developed pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. In terms of regulatory affairs, however, the market is expected to remain challenging for the market players. Market in Asia Pacific is expected to exhibit a sustainable growth rate over the coming years, while the market in the Middle East and Africa and Latin America regions is also expected to represent good signs of growth over the forecast period.
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Pharmaceutical Propellants Market: Market Participants
Examples of some of the key market participants in the global pharmaceutical propellants market include Solvay, SRF Limited, Akzo Nobel N.V., The Linde Group, Yara International and AlzChem AG, among others. Development of environment-friendly products and supplying them at competitive cost remain key strategic points for the market players present in the value chain of the global pharmaceutical propellants market.