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Varicella Zoster Infection Treatment Market Poised to Expand at a Robust Pace

Future Market Insights (FMI) has published a new report on the varicella-zoster infection treatment market titled “Varicella Zoster Infection Treatment Market: Global Industry Analysis 2012 – 2016 and Opportunity Assessment 2017 – 2027.” 

Varicella-zoster infection comprises varicella chickenpox and herpes zoster. Varicella is a highly contagious infection with an incubation period of 10–21 days, which is followed by a characteristic rash.

Acute varicella may be complicated by secondary bacterial skin infections, cerebellitis, encephalitis and haemorrhagic complications, as well as viral and bacterial pneumonia. Climate is a core factor that has an impact on the epidemiology of varicella. In most temperate climatic regions, 90% of people are infected before adolescence. In tropical climates, Varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection occurs later in life and adults are more susceptible than children.

On the other hand, herpes zoster or shingles is a sporadic disease that is caused by the reactivation of latent VZV in the sensory nerve ganglia. It is usually self-limiting and is categorised by severe pain with dermatomal distribution and at times followed by post-herpetic neuralgia that can be chronic and debilitating among the geriatric population.

Though herpes zoster can occur at any age, most of the cases are reported after the age of 50 along with increased risks of complications. In order to meet the needs of the patients and provide a potential treatment for this infection, companies are entering strategic partnerships in order to make use of the technology of the other leading companies and are also focusing on research and development (R&D).

In December 2016, Slayback and Sandoz signed an agreement with Novartis for the sale and marketing rights of Slayback Generic Zovirax Ointment (Acyclovir Ointment). As per the agreement, Novartis obtained the sales and marketing rights, which increased its position in the market. Other leading companies operating in the market are Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Pfizer, Mylan, Abbott Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.

According to the report, the global varicella zoster infection treatment market is expected to register a 4.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2017 to 2027. In 2016, the market was worth $1.2bn and is expected to reach a valuation of $1.9bn by the end of 2027.

Risk of Varicella in pregnancy and the need to adhere to the guidelines of chickenpox treatment to bode well for the market

Primary infection with varicella zoster in pregnancy may cause maternal mortality or serious morbidity issues.

Guidelines issued in 2015 assess the evidence regarding maternal and foetal risks of VZV infection in pregnancy. The UK Advisory Group and Swiss and Canadian national guidelines prescribe procedures for the use of antiviral drugs in pregnancy. The UK Advisory Group also provides guidelines for chickenpox.

These guidelines recommend oral acyclovir, which should be prescribed for pregnant women within 24 hours once they present the onset of the rash and if they have 20+0 weeks of gestation or beyond. However, guidelines are unanimous in recommending that intravenous acyclovir is administered in cases of severe maternal infection. The rate of exposure and transmission is extremely high and is a threat for pregnant women and children, which is expected to boost the growth of the varicella-zoster infection treatment market.

Natural products to challenge market growth

Several people opt for other treatment options for herpes zoster and varicella. These alternative treatment options are expected to hamper the growth of the antiviral drugs market for varicella zoster infection treatment. Homoeopathy, supplements, and other natural herbal medicines are used to treat herpes zoster and varicella.

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