Birth of babies before the gestational age, i.e. 37 weeks, is known as preterm birth. Preterm birth is categorized into extremely preterm (less than 28 weeks), very preterm birth (28 weeks to 31 weeks), and moderate to late preterm birth (31 weeks to 36 weeks) of gestational period. Preterm birth is the biggest problem and is primarily responsible for neonatal morbidity and mortality in the U.S. According to a 2017 report by the World Health Organization (WHO), every year, 15 million babies are born prematurely across the world and it is the most common cause of death in newborn babies. There was dramatic difference in survival of premature babies depending on where they are born. For instance, in 2017, more than 90% of extremely premature babies born in low income countries died within first few days of life, while less than 10% of extremely premature babies died in high income countries. .
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Tocolytic agents are also known as anti-contraction or labor suppressant drugs. Tocolytic agents inhibit uterine contraction such as beta sympathomimetic act by relaxing and smoothing muscles contraction, calcium-channels blockers antagonize calcium within myometrial cell to reduce its contractility, magnesium sulfate displaces calcium ions prevent uterine activity, and prostaglandin synthetase inhibitor impede the release of oxytocin from the posterior pituitary gland.
The global tocolytic drugs market is driven by increase in mortality of premature babies. According to the WHO, each year, approximately 1 million babies die due to complications caused by preterm birth, multiple pregnancies, infections during pregnancy, and rise in prevalence of chronic condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure during pregnancy. However, precautionary care during birth and postnatal period, provision for antenatal steroid injections, and new techniques such as kangaroo mother care in high income countries are likely to hinder the market.
The global tocolytic drugs market can be categorized based on drug class, routes of drug administration, distribution channel, and region. In terms of drug class, the global tocolytic drugs market can be categorized into beta-sympathomimetic, calcium channel antagonist, magnesium sulphate, prostaglandin synthetase inhibitor, and others. Calcium channel antagonist is the most preferred agent due to its efficacy, fetomaternal safety, and availability. Based on route of administration, the global tocolytic drugs market can be segmented into oral, intravenous, and others. Based on distribution channels, the global market can be segmented into online pharmacies, retail pharmacies, and hospital pharmacies.
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Geographically, the global tocolytic drugs market can be divided into North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to hold the largest share of the global market from 2017 to 2025 due to the higher per capita income. According to a WHO report 2017, in lower-income countries, on average, 12% of babies born too early compared with 9% in higher income countries. Europe is expected to be the second largest market due to continuous increase in research & development activities in the region. The tocolytic drugs market in Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa is expanding at a rapid pace during the forecast period due to increase in the number of preterm births. For instance according to WHO report 2017, more than 60% of preterm births occur in Africa and Asia.
Key players operating in the global tocolytic drugs market include AstraZeneca, Bayer AG, Alkermes, Pfizer Inc., Medpharma Pharma & Chem Ind’s (L.L.C.), Solvay, Medisol Life Science Pvt. Ltd., Merit Pharmaceutical, Sandoz, Inc. (Novartis AG).