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Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Drug Class (Buprenorphine, Methadone, and Naltrexone), By Route of Administration (Oral, and Parenteral), By Distribution Channel (Hospital Pharmacies, Retail Pharmacies & Stores, and Online Pharmacies) and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102674



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The global opioid use disorder market size was USD 2.52 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with opioid use disorder medicine witnessing a negative impact across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the market witnessed a negative impact of COVID-19 and registered a -10.1% year-on-year growth rate in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 2.68 billion in 2021 to USD 4.81 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 8.7% in the 2021-2028 period. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

As the number of patients suffering from chronic pain is increasing worldwide, the number of prescriptions for painkillers, which often contains opioids, is expected to surge. However, as the consumption of these opioid-based painkillers reduce the patient’s pain, the dependency or addiction to these medications increases. This addiction has fatal consequences, as the overdose of opioids can lead to death or permanent impairment of the individual’s normal psychological and physiological functioning.

To mitigate the risk, governments of various countries, such as the U.S., have implemented policies to tackle this condition effectively. Such policy initiatives, coupled with the increasing product launches by key players, are expected to drive the market positively.

Reduced Demand for Medications amid COVID-19 Pandemic to Negatively Impact Market Growth

The coronavirus pandemic has had a varied impact on the pharmaceutical market, ranging from positive to negative, based on the demand. There has been a negative impact on certain medications, owing to a decline in their demand due to the lack of visits to healthcare facilities such as hospitals and clinics. Furthermore, to restrain the number of coronavirus cases, several governments have implemented strict nationwide lockdown. This has led to a sharp decline in the flow of patients across hospital settings. Moreover, the cancellation or postponement of non-essential medical procedures has further led to a negative impact on market growth.

In the OUD market, the number of patients suffering from opioid overdoses and relapses in their addiction sharply increased during this period. However, the prominent companies engaged in the opioid use disorder market, such as Indivior, experienced a sharp decline in their product revenues during this period. This rapid decline in sales has occurred due to COVID-19 related disruptions. Thus, the global market for opioid use disorder is expected to experience a negative impact.


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Increasing Consideration of Buprenorphine Patches as an Effective Treatment Mode to Propel Market Growth

One of the upcoming trends witnessed in the global market in treating opioid addiction is the increasing usage of buprenorphine treatment patches as an effective therapy. Buprenorphine patches are considered to be a novel approach for the treatment of opioid use disorder. The usage of transdermal patches has various advantages over other treatment modes such as injections as it is the most comfortable mode of drug delivery, which effectively reduces the pain and can be self-administered by the patient. Furthermore, these transdermal patches can act as a potential alternative for patients requiring around-the-clock opioid therapy for opioid use disorder.

For instance, in 2019, WellSpan Health, a major U.S.-based healthcare system, collaborated with York Opioid Collaborative to establish a clinical trial and reached phase IV in the development of Lidocaine patch for the indication of OUD treatment. This is expected to boost the adoption of treatment on a broader scale. Moreover, the greater inclusion of new patients is anticipated to lead to the global opioid use disorder (OUD) market growth during the forecast period.


Increasing Cases of Opioid Addiction to Drive OUD Market Growth

In the current scenario, the general population suffers from a wide range of severe and chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular, pain arising from injuries, and other conditions. These diseases often cause chronic pain amongst patients that are managed with the consumption of painkillers, mostly opioids. While the pain reduces, there is a greater chance that the patient may get addicted to these drugs. The growing dependency on these drugs and abrupt discontinuation may lead to the patient suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Hence, they continue to use these opioids that sharply increases the probability of fatal consequences for patients, such as death from an opioid overdose.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), in 2017, an estimated 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, including prescription opioids, a 2-fold increase in a decade. Also, patient awareness has considerably increased, owing to such alarming statistics. Hence, the increasing cases of opioids dependency are projected to boost the market growth during the forecast period.

Increasing Engagement by Governmental & Non-governmental Institutions to Aid Growth

Another critical driving factor that is expected to boost the market growth during the forecast period is the increasing involvement of governmental and non-governmental agencies. The number of individuals suffering from opioid addiction has substantially increased, and it has led several governments to get involved on a wider scale to tackle this crisis.

For instance, the U.S. has one of the largest pools of patients suffering from opioid dependency. This led the United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) in 2017 to declare the opioid crisis as a public health emergency. Hence, for tackling this epidemic, the HHS issued a ‘5 Point Strategy’ to combat the problem. These initiatives are expected to drive the number of individuals suffering from the increasing consumption of opioid-induced drugs to opt for treatment. Such factors are expected to positively impact the global OUD Industry during the forecast period.


Adverse Effects of OUD Drugs to Restrain Market Growth

One of the most critical restraining factors that are anticipated to limit the growth of the global market during the forecast period is the side effects that may arise from the drugs administered for the treatment of opioid addiction. Some of the typical adverse reactions from these drugs include vomiting, bladder pain, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, respiratory issues, bone/joint pain, muscle aches, and constipation. Furthermore, in certain severe cases of adverse reactions, the patient may also suffer from psychological problems, such as depression.

In some instances, the usage of SUBOXONE for the treatment of opioid dependency may lead to fast or irregular heartbeat and hyperventilation. Hence, such side effects of these drugs are expected to hinder the market growth during the forecast period.


By Drug Class Analysis

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Buprenorphine Segment to Grow at a Faster Pace in the Upcoming Years

Based on the drug class, the market includes buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone.

The buprenorphine segment accounted for the largest share of the market in 2020. The dominance is due to the greater adoption of these drugs in developed markets such as the United States and France, coupled with the presence of several branded products under this segment. Some essential buprenorphine products include SUBLOCADE, SUBOXONE, and ZUBSOLV.

The methadone segment is anticipated to register a lower growth rate due to the increasing influx of generic product offerings and the comparative lack of new product launches in this segment.

The naltrexone segment is set to register a lower market share during the forecast period due to the comparatively limited number of product offerings.

By Route of Administration Analysis

Parenteral Segment to Account for the Highest Market Share

Based on the route of administration, the market is segmented into oral and parenteral.

The parenteral segment is projected to account for the highest market share during the forecast period because of the availability of various types of OUD drugs in different dosages in the parenteral form. Hence, this type of drug administration maintains dominance in the global market.

The oral segment is projected to account for a lower share of the global market. However, it is expected to experience significant growth due to many individuals opting for oral administration of drugs compared to the injection of drugs.

By Distribution Channel Analysis

Hospital Pharmacies Segment Expected to Dominate the Market

Based on the distribution channel, the market can be segmented into retail pharmacies & stores, hospital pharmacies, and online pharmacies.

The hospital pharmacies segment is anticipated to account for a higher share in the global market because of the dependency of the patient population on these settings for the administration of parenteral OUD drugs such as buprenorphine.

The retail pharmacies & stores segment is set to be the second-largest segment during the forthcoming years due to the dependency of the patient population on these locations for filling up their prescriptions.

On the other hand, the online pharmacies segment is estimated to grow at the highest CAGR as an increasing number of patients have started using online pharmacies as a means of acquiring their drugs owing to the convenience attached to these settings.


North America Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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North America stood at USD 1.95 billion in 2020. The region is anticipated to be dominant during the forecast period owing to the substantial number of individuals in the United States suffering from opioid dependency, the presence of prominent players in the region, and the increasing involvement of the government in tackling the epidemic. For instance, according to an article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in 2020, it was estimated that in the United States, approximately 2.1 million individuals suffer from opioid use disorders.

Europe is projected to hold the second position in the market. This is attributable to the increasing number of new product launches in the region and the rising number of patients suffering from opioid dependency.

Asia Pacific market is projected to register the strongest CAGR in the near future due to the increasing awareness amongst the general population regarding opioid use disorder. Additionally, the substantial patient population base and the increasing healthcare spending in the region are likely to favor the growth of the market in the region.

The rest of the world consists of regions such as Latin America and the Middle East & Africa that accounted for a lower share of the market in the past. However, the increasing number of patients suffering from opioid dependency, expanding healthcare expenditure, and surging awareness amongst the general population are expected to boost the market growth in the forthcoming years.


Robust and Diversified Product Portfolios of Indivior PLC, Alkermes, and Orexo AB Has Led to Their Market Dominance

In terms of the competition scenario, certain prominent companies who exert dominance over the global market include Indivior PLC, Alkermes, and Orexo AB. The competitive landscape reflects these players' dominance due to their strong product portfolio in terms of the product offerings of buprenorphine and naltrexone. Furthermore, these companies are engaged in continuous R&D activities for the development of more effective drugs for the treatment of opioid dependencies, such as long-acting buprenorphine.

For instance, Indivior PLC has many buprenorphine product offerings in its portfolio, including SUBLOCADE and SUBOXONE. Other vital players in the OUD industry include Orexo AB and Alkermes, known for their extensive product offerings. These companies adopting various strategies such as collaboration and new product launches are anticipated to contribute to their efforts to expand their market share in terms of revenue during the forecast period.


  • Indivior PLC (Chesterfield, U.S.)

  • Alkermes (Dublin, Ireland)

  • Orexo AB (Uppsala, Sweden)

  • Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (South San Francisco, U.S.)

  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Petah Tikva, Israel)

  • Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals (Staines-Upon-Thames, U.K.)

  • BioDelivery Sciences International Inc. (Raleigh, U.S.)

  • Viatris Inc. (Mylan N.V.) (Canonsburg, U.S.)

  • Pfizer, Inc. (New York City, U.S.)

  • Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (London, U.K.)

  • Camurus (Lund, Sweden)

  • Other Players


  • June 2020 – Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. entered into a partnership with Indegene to establish a multichannel digital marketing program throughout the U.S. and further increase their competence in providing Probuphine implant 2016 for opioid addiction patients.

  • February 2019 – Dr. Reddy's Laboratories announced the re-launch of its buprenorphine and naloxone sublingual film after the company received a favorable ruling in patent litigation.

  • February 2021 – Orexo AB announced its collaboration with ApexB.io and Magellan Rx Management to further research on the use of Modia. This product is a digital therapeutic designed for patients with opioid use disorder.

  • December 2020 – Orexo AB entered into an exclusive agreement with Accord Healthcare, for the commercialization of ZUBSOLV and naloxone sublingual tablets in Europe.


An Infographic Representation of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Market

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The global OUD market research report provides a detailed analysis of the industry. It focuses on key aspects such as key industry developments - mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, pipeline analysis-key products, new product launches, statistics of opioid use disorder by key countries/region, and impact of COVID-19 on the market. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry dynamics. In addition to the aforementioned factors, it encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the global market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion)


   Drug Class, Route of Administration, Distribution Channel, and Geography

By Drug Class


  • Buprenorphine

  • Methadone

  • Naltrexone

By Route of Administration


  • Oral

  • Parenteral

By Distribution Channel


  • Hospital Pharmacies

  • Retail Pharmacies & Stores

  • Online Pharmacies

By Geography


  • North America

    • By Drug Class

    • By Route of Administration

    • By Distribution Channel

    • By Country

      • U.S.

      • Canada

  • Europe

    • By Drug Class

    • By Route of Administration

    • By Distribution Channel

    • By Country/ Sub-Region

      • UK

      • Germany

      • France

      • Italy

      • Spain

      • Scandinavia

      • Rest of Europe

  • Asia Pacific

    • By Drug Class

    • By Route of Administration

    • By Distribution Channel

    • By Country/ Sub-Region

      • Japan

      • China

      • India

      • Australia

      • South East Asia

      • Rest of Asia Pacific

  • Rest of the World

    • By Drug Class

    • By Route of Administration

    • By Distribution Channel

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2.52 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 4.81 billion by 2028.

Registering a CAGR of 8.7%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).

The buprenorphine segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.

The increasing incidence of opioid addiction amongst the general population, strong demand for effective therapeutics such as long-acting buprenorphine products, and greater awareness, are significant factors driving the growth of the market.

Indivior PLC, Alkermes, and Orexo AB are some of the major players in the global market.

North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.

New product launches by prominent companies, increasing governmental involvement in the tackling of the opioid epidemic, and strong cases of opioid dependency necessitating the need for effective therapeutics are expected to drive the adoption of these products in the global market.

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