Treatment of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and modification of the course of the disease is carried out using disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. These disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs help in slowing down the progress of rheumatoid arthritis along with reduction of stiffness, inflammation, and pain, unlike non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, or aspirin that help only in the treatment of symptoms such as inflammation and pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is a long lasting chronic inflammatory disease that causes swelling, redness, warmth, stiffness, and pain in joints of neck, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, ankles, feet, wrists, and hands. This disease damages and misaligns the joints. As the disease spreads in the joints, the lining tissue of the joint becomes thick and wears away surrounding bone, cartilage, and ligaments.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a symmetrical pattern disease, and is considered to be an autoimmune disease. When the healthy joint tissues of the body are attacked by white blood cells, it leads inflammation of the thin layer of cells lining the joint, causing release of enzymes. The ligaments, tendons, bone, and cartilage near the joint are damaged as the disease progresses due to the enzymes and certain immune cells. According to certain researches, this faulty immune system is triggered by a virus. However, there is no evidence that rheumatoid arthritis is caused by virus. Some researchers also suggest that it is due to genetics, or smoking habits may cause rheumatoid arthritis.
Incidence of rheumatoid arthritis is increasing across the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year, nearly 22.7% adult population, around 54.4 million, in the U.S. had some form of fibromyalgia, or lupus, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or arthritis. The CDC also anticipates that around 26%, or 78 million, adult population in the country will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis by 2040. Obesity and overweight raise the chances of rheumatoid arthritis. Increase in obese and overweight population in the world is likely to boost demand for disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. According to the CDC, approximately 31% of the obese and 23% of overweight adult population report arthritis in the U.S. each year.
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The global disease-modifying anti-rheumatic medicines market can be segmented based on dosage form, distribution channel, and region. In terms of dosage form, the market can be categorized into tablet, capsule, and injection. Based on distribution channel, the global disease-modifying anti-rheumatic medicines market can be classified into retail pharmacies, online pharmacies, and hospital pharmacies.
Geographically, the global disease-modifying anti-rheumatic agents market can be categorized into Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe, North America, and Middle East & Africa. North America held the largest market share owing to increase in health care expenditure, surge in obese and overweight population, and rise in prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis. Europe held the second largest market share in 2016 due to increase in research and development on anti-rheumatic drugs, and rise in obese and overweight adult population. High incidence of rheumatoid arthritis in developing countries and investment by key players in these countries with large patient population are anticipated to drive the market in Asia Pacific. The disease-modifying anti-rheumatic medicines market in Middle East & Africa is anticipated to grow at a rapid pace during the forecast period due to rise in prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis. The market in Latin America is expected to be driven by increase in awareness about rheumatoid arthritis among the people.
Key players in the global disease-modifying anti-rheumatic agents market include Sebela Pharmaceuticals, Inc., DAVA Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (publ)., Pfizer, Inc., Abbott Laboratories, Merck & Co., Inc. Amgen, Inc., F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, and Janssen Biotech, Inc.
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