Guest Column | October 5, 2023

Emerging Market Trends For Drug Delivery Devices

By Aashi Mishra, Research Nester

Investment bundle-GettyImages-1415945503

There has been a significant shift in the pharmaceutical industry toward personalized medicine and approaches that prioritize the needs of individual patients. In this evolving landscape, drug delivery devices play a role in ensuring the effective administration of medications.

The market for drug delivery devices is experiencing growth and it is estimated to reach a market size of $541.5 billion by 2035. This expansion is primarily driven by:

  • the rising occurrence of illnesses like diabetes and cancer,
  • an increasing focus on personalized medicine (for which drug delivery devices play an essential role of administration), and
  • advancements in technology, which have resulted in more user-friendly and accurate devices that enhance patient outcomes. Two notable advancements are:
    • the integration of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology into drug delivery devices. By utilizing MEMS technology, it becomes possible to develop devices that can be implanted within the body to administer drugs directly to specific target areas. This technology has already been used in the development of insulin pumps for individuals with diabetes and drug eluting stents.
    • smart devices and the integration of IoT into drug delivery devices. These kinds of devices can monitor usage, provide reminders, and gather data.

This article delves into our new market research outlook for drug delivery devices within the pharmaceutical industry, highlighting important trends, market dynamics, and the impact of innovation.

Market Segmentation

The market for drug delivery devices can be categorized according to the product type, route of administration, and application. Let’s explore in-depth information about each category of devices and evaluate which type is projected to have the largest market share during the predicted time frame.

Product Types: Smart Pills, Inhalers, Drug-Eluting Stents, And More

Inhalers: Inhalers are devices that are used to administer medications primarily for treating respiratory conditions such as asthma and COPD. These devices include metered dose inhalers (MDIs) and dry powder inhalers (DPIs). Given the prevalence of respiratory diseases worldwide and the continuous advancement of inhaler technologies for better drug delivery, it is expected that inhalers will have the largest market share in the projected period. According to the World Health Organization, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) ranks as the leading cause of death globally, resulting in 3.23 million deaths in 2019.

Smart Pills: Smart pills, also referred to as digital pills or ingestible sensors, consist of small sensors that send information about the consumption of medication to a wearable device or mobile application. These pills are utilized to monitor and track medication adherence.

Drug-Eluting Stents: Drug-eluting stents (DES), which are utilized in cardiology for the treatment of coronary artery ailments, are medical devices coated with medications. These medications are gradually released to hinder the occurrence of restenosis (the re-narrowing of arteries) subsequent to angioplasty.

Safety Syringes: Safety syringes have been created with the aim of reducing needlestick injuries and curbing the transmission of infectious diseases. These syringes are specifically designed to retract or lock the needle once it has been used. They are used in a range of healthcare environments to administer injections and vaccinations.

Implantable Drug Delivery Devices: Implanted drug delivery devices are surgically placed within the body to ensure a controlled and continuous release of medication over a period. They are used to manage long-term conditions such as diabetes, pain, and contraception.

Transdermal Patches: Transdermal patches are adhesive patches that release medications into the bloodstream over time by being applied to the skin. They're often used for managing pain, hormone treatment, and helping people quit smoking.

Autoinjectors: Autoinjectors are medical devices that enable patients to administer medication on their own. They comprise a prefilled syringe and an automatic injection system, which is activated by a button or another mechanism. These devices find application in the treatment of various conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and allergies.

Pen Injectors: Pen injectors have gained popularity in recent years as a reliable drug delivery option. These devices are specifically designed to be user-friendly for patients who need to administer medication themselves. Unlike syringes, pen injectors are compact and lightweight, allowing for easy portability.

Routes Of Administration

  • Oral Drug Delivery: The popular and widely accepted way to administer drugs is through oral drug delivery. Over 84% of the pharmaceutical products that are in high demand are taken orally. According to estimates, oral medications make up around 90% of the total market share for all pharmaceutical formulations designed for human consumption. This method can be in the form of tablets, capsules, liquids, or powders. Oral delivery is suitable for a range of therapeutic areas, including pain management, cardiovascular diseases, and antibiotics. Due to its convenience, ease of patient compliance, and the ability to formulate drugs in various ways, oral drug delivery is expected to maintain its dominant position in the market.
  • Injectable Drug Delivery: This method can be divided into intramuscular and intravenous routes. Injectable delivery is commonly chosen for its ability to ensure absorption of drugs, accurate dosing, and effective administration of biologics.
  • Topical and Transdermal Drug Delivery: Medications are applied directly onto the skin or mucous membranes. This method is often employed for localized treatments, including for skin conditions and pain relief.
  • Pulmonary Drug Delivery: Pulmonary drug administration is a method of delivering medications to the lungs through inhalation. It is mainly utilized for treating conditions such as asthma and COPD.
  • Nasal Drug Delivery: This method is used for treatments for allergies as well as systemic drug delivery like some vaccines.

Application: Oncology, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, Respiratory Diseases and Others

Among these segments, oncology stands out as the largest segment due to the rising incidence of cancer. According to estimates from the World Health Organization, cancer remains a cause of global mortality with nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, accounting for approximately one in every six deaths. In order for oncology drugs to be effective they require drug delivery devices that are more advanced compared to those used in other applications.

Key Players In The Industry And Recent Noteworthy Developments

The market is dominated by leading players including Antares Pharma, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Mylan, Novartis International, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co., Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Abbott Laboratories, Cipla, and others.

Recent Noteworthy Occurrences

  • In June 2022, Gufic Biosciences introduced a drug delivery system called Dual Chamber Bags in India. These innovative bags, made of polypropylene (DEHP) and equipped with a peelable aluminum foil, allow for the safe storage of unstable drugs that require reconstitution before being administered to patients.
  • In February 2022 Takeda obtained approval from the U.S. FDA for the use of TAKHZYRO (lanadelumab) injections. This medication, available in a prefilled syringe (PFS), is designed to help prevent episodes of hereditary angioedema (HAE) in individuals aged 12 and above.
  • In November 2021, Ypsomed introduced the YpsoMate, which is considered the first-ever auto injector for prefilled syringes that comes with built-in connectivity. This innovative product is designed to work with the SmartPilot, a reusable attachment that can be connected to the mechanical YpsoMate autoinjector. Together, they provide a solution for integrating the autoinjector into a digital therapy management system.
  • In September 2022, Corium introduced ADLARITY, a transdermal delivery system for donepezil in the United States. This treatment aims to assist individuals with mild to severe Alzheimer’s disease.

Regional Analysis

North America

North America is predicted to dominate the market share by 2035 due to increased product launches and initiatives from leading industry players in region. Due to a rise in new cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S., there will be an increased need for drug delivery systems like inhalers, pumps, syringes, and patches for home-based and hospital-based cancer treatment. The availability of these drug delivery systems also will contribute to better patient compliance with prescribed treatment plans, thereby driving the demand for such devices.

Asia Pacific

The Asia Pacific market for drug delivery devices is projected to grow at a significant rate, accounting for approximately 25% of the market share by the end of 2035. The usage of drug delivery devices is being driven by a rise in the number of patients in countries like Japan, China, and India. This trend is further supported by a growing elderly population and a high prevalence of chronic and lifestyle-related ailments in the region. Additionally, in Japan diverse types of drug delivery systems are being employed to administer medications.

Future Prospects and Challenges

While the drug delivery devices market presents significant opportunities, it also faces several challenges:

  • Cost Considerations: Developing and manufacturing drug delivery devices can be expensive, making it a challenge to ensure that they are affordable and accessible for patients, particularly in emerging markets.
  • Regulatory Complexities: Understanding the rules and regulations surrounding drug delivery devices can be quite intricate as requirements tend to differ across regions. However, there are efforts to harmonize and standardize these regulations in order to simplify the approval process.


In conclusion, the pharmaceutical industry’s drug delivery device landscape is constantly developing. The rise in the prevalence of diseases and the need for patient-focused care are pushing advancements in drug delivery technologies. Moving forward, it is crucial for manufacturers, healthcare providers, and regulators to work to ensure these devices truly benefit patients by improving treatment results, minimizing side effects, and enhancing overall quality of life.

About The Author:

Aashi Mishra is a content developer at Research Nester and is also an electronics engineer. She has three years of market research experience.