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Artificial Tears Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Polyethylene Glycols (PEG) and Polypropylene Glycols (PPG), Cellulose, and Others), By Delivery (Eye Drops, and Ointments), By Application (Dry Eye Syndrome, Allergies & Infections, and Others), By Distribution Channel (Hospital Pharmacies, Drug Stores & Retail Pharmacies, and Online Pharmacies), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Last Updated :April 01, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI103486



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The global artificial tears market size was valued at USD 2.64 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 4.30 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period.

Artificial tears refer to a wide range of lubricating eye products which are often administered to the patients to relieve the symptoms of dryness in eyes and irritation of ocular surface. Artificial tears are especially critical as an ophthalmic treatment as a significant proportion of the global population is suffering from the problem of dry eye syndrome and other ocular problems such as eye allergies. As a significant proportion is over the counter products, it can be self-administered and further reduces the additional economic burden on the healthcare system. This has led to the increasing presence of numerous companies in the R&D initiatives for these products leading to launches of more sophisticated versions of eye drops, aiding global market growth during the forecast period.

Global Market is Expected to Register a Surge Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have some critical impact, both positive and negative, on certain pharmaceutical markets. While as a means of limiting the spread of the virus, governments across the globe have implemented strict lockdowns, the healthcare industry has suffered from some critical impacts. For some non-essential medical procedures and consultations, the impact has been negative, as healthcare systems have postponed or canceled such activities. But in the case of certain over the counter (OTC) products, the impact has been positive, as consumers can purchase these products from online pharmacies without any restriction in most cases. Hence, as of now, the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic is expected to have a positive impact on the global market.


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Increased Awareness of Dry Eye Syndrome Amongst Patients to Fuel Demand

One of the most critical trends in the global market for artificial tears is the strong consumer awareness of ocular diseases such as dry eye syndrome which diminishes the patient’s quality of life. This trend awareness of dry eye syndrome has been driven by the main companies involved in the production and also further boosted by critical governmental agencies. For instance, in the U.S., the month of July is celebrated as the ‘National Dry Eye Awareness Month’, an initiative that is supported by the country’s critical health agency, National Institutes of Health (NIH). Thus, such initiatives help in spreading awareness regarding the dry eye syndrome disease and measures that can be implemented to alleviate the disease effectively. Such trends are expected to significantly boost the sales of the market during the forecast period.


Increased Prevalence of Dry Eye Syndrome to Drive Market Growth

One of the foremost driving factors influencing the global market is the increasing prevalence of dry eye syndrome which is expected to fuel demand for the market. Despite, dry eye syndrome not being a disorder that is life-threatening in terms of nature, the disease does lead to a diminished quality of life for the patients suffering from it. In an estimate stated by the research journal BMC Ophthalmology in January 2020, the prevalence of dry eye syndrome has been estimated in many countries around the globe, with the prevalence ranging between 9.5–90%. Such trends and statistics have reported substantial existing and potential patient populations worldwide which are getting more increasingly aware of this disorder. While this disease may not critically affect the vision of the patient, but it can often result in a significantly declined quality of life for the patient. This is expected to further boost the market growth of the market during the forecast period.

New Launches of Superior Products to Spur Market Growth

Another important driving factor of the global market in the forecast period include consistent launches of advanced and innovative products from leading companies. Such regular launches of advanced products have consistently created greater awareness amongst the patient population. This has led to strong demand for these products.  The advanced treatment and products for a wide range of ocular conditions such as dry eye syndrome and conjunctivitis can further enhance the potential of the market. For instance, the recent launches from the SYSTANE family such as SYSTANE HYDRATION PF and the Refresh family of artificial tears such as REFRESH RELIEVA are expected to boost the market growth in the forecast period.


Rising Concerns Associated with Eye Drops to Limit Market Growth

Despite, a sizeable patient population worldwide suffering from ocular diseases such as conjunctivitis and dry eye syndrome, some restraining factors are hindering the global market growth for artificial tears. Some of the critical limitations include certain safety concerns associated with products which leads to a restrained usage of these products. Some of the safety concerns associated with teardrops include the risks of contamination and also adverse reactions associated with the preservatives present in the product. For such safety concerns, the usage is restricted, and the various ocular conditions may lead to diminished productivity, which impacts the quality of life adversely. Such limitations are expected to result in reduced demand for these products, which, in turn, will restrict the market growth during the forecast period.


By Type Analysis

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Polyethylene Glycols (PEG) and Polypropylene Glycols (PPG) to Grow at Faster Pace during 2020-2027

Based on type, the market includes polyethylene glycols (PEG) and polypropylene glycols (PPG), cellulose, and others. The polyethylene glycols (PEG) and polypropylene glycols (PPG) segment held a dominant share of the market in 2019. The dominance is owing to the large presence of polyethylene glycols (PEG) and polypropylene glycols (PPG) type in the product portfolios of key market players, and also the increasing usage of these products as an efficient option. The cellulose segment is projected to be the second-largest segment primarily due to the presence of important products such as Refresh Optive, and GenTeal Tears in this segment.

However, the others segment which includes lipid based artificial tears is anticipated to register a lower artificial tears market share and a lower growth rate in the forecast period. The contributive factors for the lower market size of this segment includes the lack of prominent product launches in this segment.

By Delivery Analysis

Ointments Segment Dominated the Market in 2019

Based on delivery, the market is segmented into eye drops and ointments. The eye drops segment is anticipated to dominate the market during the forecast period because a significant number of product offerings are available in the form of eye drops. This includes the SYSTANE family from Alcon and also the Refresh family from Allergan. The ointments segment accounted for a lower share of the global market and also registered a comparatively lower CAGR.

By Application Analysis

Ointments Segment Dominated the Market in 2019

Based on the application, the market can be segmented into dry eye syndrome, allergies & infections, and others. The dry eye syndrome segment is expected to dominate the market because of the sizeable proportion of the populace suffering from the disease for which the most critical intervention is the administration of drugs. The allergies & infections segment is anticipated to be the second-largest segment in the forecast period and includes serious ocular diseases such as the various types of conjunctivitis. The others segment consists of the application areas of contact lens moisture amongst others.

By Distribution Channel Analysis

Online Pharmacies to Register a Higher CAGR during the Forecast Period

Based on the distribution channel, the market for artificial tears is segmented into hospital pharmacies, drug stores & retail pharmacies, and online pharmacies. The hospital pharmacies are anticipated to account for the highest share of the global market in the forecast period. This is primarily due to the reason that there is still a greater dependency on medical professionals for the prescription or relevant advice regarding the usage of the product. The drug stores & retail pharmacies are expected to account for the second-largest market share during the forecast period since several products are over-the-counter-products. The online pharmacies segment is anticipated to register the highest CAGR primarily owing to the convenience given to the consumers in terms of the purchase. Furthermore, due to the widespread lockdowns imposed during COVID-19, online pharmacies are expected to register strong growth. 


North America Artificial Tears Market Size, 2016-2027 (USD Billion)

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Based on the global market, the regions include North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. The market size in North America stood at USD 1.38 billion in 2019. North America’s dominance in the global market is attributable to the region’s strong healthcare expenditure, adoption of the sophisticated products, presence of market key players, and the strong prevalence of dry eye syndrome and other ocular diseases such as eye allergies in the region. For instance, according to the 2013 National Health and Wellness Survey conducted in the U.S., it was estimated that up to 6.8% of the population in the U.S. was to be affected by dry eye syndrome. This estimate puts the number of patients in the U.S. suffering from dry eye syndrome in 2019 at approximately 22.4 million, which is further expected to drive the market in the region. The market in Europe is expected to account for the second-largest market owing to the strong potential patient population in the region coupled with the increasing usage of advanced eye drops. The Asia Pacific market is expected to register the highest growth in the forecast period owing to the greater awareness of ocular diseases, strong potential patient population, and the increasing healthcare expenditure. The other regions include Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa which accounted for a lower share but is expected to register strong growth prospects in the forecast period due to improving economic conditions leading to greater healthcare spending.


Strong Portfolio of Alcon, and Allergan (AbbVie Inc.) Has Led These Companies to Market Dominance

In terms of the competitive scenario, the global market has characteristics of monopolistic nature owing to the presence of several companies of various sizes in the market, with players ranging from established companies to emerging players. In the current competitive scene, Alcon, and Allergan (AbbVie Inc.) are dominating the global market in 2019, accounting for a strong market revenue share. This dominance is primarily due to the companies’ strong portfolio which is further strengthened by consistent new product launches. For instance, the presence of SYSTANE family products in Alcon’s portfolio which includes products such as SYSTANE HYDRATION PF, and the presence of Refresh family of eye drops in Allergan’s portfolio. In the same instance, some other key competitors operating in the global market include Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., and Bausch & Lomb. Emerging players such as Eyevance Pharmaceuticals LLC have also launched new products such as FRESHKOTE Preservative Free (PF), and this is expected to aid them to increase their market revenue share in the forecast period.


  • Allergan (AbbVie Inc.) (Dublin, Ireland)

  • Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Osaka, Japan)

  • Bausch & Lomb (Laval, Canada)

  • Alcon (Geneva, Switzerland)

  • Novartis AG (Basel, Switzerland)

  • Akorn Inc. (Lake Forest, U.S.)

  • Eyevance Pharmaceuticals LLC (Forth Worth, U.S.)

  • Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Mumbai, India)

  • Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, U.S.)

  • Bayer AG (Leverkusen, Germany)

  • Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan)

  • Other Players


  • July 2021 – Bausch+Lomb, a subsidiary of Bausch health Companies Inc. announced the launch of Biotrue Hydration Boost Lubricant Eye Drops and Biotrue Micellar Eyelids Cleansing Wipes in the U.S. region. These products are developed for patients suffering with irritated, dry eyes.

  • April 2021 – Alcon, announced that they have launched Systane Hydration Multi-Dose Preservative-Free Lubricant eye drops in the U.S. region. This product is a new addition to their existing portfolio of dry eye products. These new eye drops are preservative free and provides moisture to patients with sensitive dry eyes.

  • February 2020– I-MED Pharma Inc. announced that they are planning to launch a new product which will be an addition to their existing I-DROP artificial tears portfolio called as I-DROP MGD. This new product has blink activated coating and recoating which would provide ocular hydration to patients suffering from evaporated dry eye

  • October 2019– Allergan (AbbVie Inc.) announced that they have launched a new line of product, Refresh Relieva Lubricant Eye Drop. This product is an addition to their already existing Refresh portfolio. This eye drop relieves patients suffering from dry eye and irritation.


An Infographic Representation of Artificial Tears Market

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The artificial tears market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as the prevalence of dry eye disease - by key countries, the prevalence of conjunctivitis - by key countries, pipeline analysis, key industry developments, new product launches, the impact of COVID-19 on the market, regulatory scenario - by key countries, reimbursement scenario - by key countries, and R&D advancements in the market. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key global industry dynamics. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the global market over recent years.

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion)


Type, Delivery, Application, Distribution Channel, and Geography

By Type


  • Polyethylene Glycols (PEG) and Polypropylene Glycols (PPG)

  • Cellulose

  • Others

By Delivery


  • Eye Drops

  • Ointments

By Application


  • Dry Eye Syndrome

  • Allergies & Infections

  • Others

By Distribution Channel


  • Hospital Pharmacies

  • Drug Stores & Retail Pharmacies

  • Online Pharmacies

By Geography

  • North America (The U.S.,Canada)

  • Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia,Rest of Europe)

  • Asia Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia, Rest of Asia Pacific)

  • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico,Rest of South America)

  • Middle East & Africa (South Africa, GCC Countries,Rest of Middle East & Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global artificial tears market size was USD 2.64 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 4.30 billion by 2027.

In 2019, the North America market value stood at USD 1.38 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 5.9%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

The polyethylene glycols (PEG) and polypropylene glycols (PPG) segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

The substantial patient population, increased awareness about dry eye syndrome, and new product launches are major factors driving the growth of the market.

Alcon and Allergan (AbbVie Inc.) are major players of the global market.

North America dominated the market share in 2019.

New product launches by key companies, increasing prevalence and awareness of dry eye syndrome, and increased R&D investments are expected to drive the adoption of products in the global market.

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