Medicines or drugs applied locally on the area which is being treated are called topical drugs. ‘Topikos’ in Greek means ‘at a place’. Many creams and ointments that are applied to skin are often called topical drugs. Eye drops that are directly put into the eyes are also termed topical drugs. Drugs used for inhalation during respiratory conditions such as asthma are also often termed topical drugs. Many say, that topical drugs have a local effect; however, various topical drugs can also cause systemic effect. 

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The global topical drugs market is expected to expand at a rapid pace in the near future. Factors such as non-invasiveness, easy usage, good absorption properties, and preference by patients are propelling the global topical drugs market. High incidence and prevalence of skin disease and increase in incidence rate of bone disorders are driving the topical drugs market. Rise in usage of painless treatments, such as topical patches, for chronic diseases is further boosting the global topical drugs market. However, drugs take time for its effect, it is messy and complicated if different formulation have been combined, strict government regulation for regulatory approvals etc. are the factors that can restrain the growth of the global topical market during the forecast period. 

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The global topical drugs market can be segmented based on product type, route of administration, distribution channel, and region. In terms of product type, the global topical drugs market can be divided into semisolid formulation, liquid formulation, solids, patches, and others. The semisolid formulation segment can be further divided into ointments, creams, gels, lotions, and pastes. Semisolid formulation is anticipated to dominate the global topical drugs market during the forecast period due to the ease of usage. Based on the route of administration, the global topical drugs market can be classified into ophthalmic, skin, vaginal, rectal, and nasal. In terms of value, the skin segment is estimated to expand at a rapid pace owing to the high incidence of skin diseases and disorders. Based on the distribution channel, the global topical drugs market can be segregated into hospital pharmacies, drug stores, retailers, and e-commerce. 

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Geographically, the global topical drugs market can be divided into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America dominates the global topical drugs market in terms of value and volume. It is followed by Europe. Factors such as rise in incidence of skin diseases, availability of painless drugs, growth in the healthcare sector, and favorable reimbursement policies are augmenting the topical drugs market Europe. Furthermore, prominent players are focusing on Europe to strengthen their position in the market. The topical drugs market in Asia Pacific is projected to expand at a rapid pace due to factors such as rise in healthcare expenditure, growth in geriatric population, increase in disposable income, prevalence of chronic diseases, and higher penetration of global pharmaceutical companies in the region. 

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Key players operating in the global topical drugs market adopt various strategies such as product launch, mergers and acquisitions, and geographical expansion to expand their market share. In 2016, Galderma S.A. announced it had entered into a strategic alliance with Maruho Co. Ltd. This move is anticipated to enable both the companies to expand their product portfolios. Major players operating in the global topical drugs market include Galderma S.A., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Pharmatek Laboratories, Inc., CMP Pharma, Teligent, esa Labtec GmbH, Sol-Gel Technologies Ltd, Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

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