Guest Column | May 15, 2023

The Global Market For Generic Sterile Injectables To Double In Value By 2032

By Aditi Shivarkar, insightSLICE


Generic sterile injectables are drugs that are manufactured for administration through intravenous or intramuscular injection. They are used to treat various medical conditions and are designed to meet the same high quality and safety standards as brand-name drugs. These drugs are usually cheaper than the brand-name drugs and are widely used by patients who require frequent injections.

As per our new analysis at insightSLICE, the global generic sterile injectable market size was estimated to be $79.95 billion in 2022 and is expected grow at a CAGR of 7.1% between 2023 and 2032 to reach $159 billion by 2032. The manufacturing process for generic sterile injectables involves the use of strict aseptic techniques to prevent contamination during the production process. Once the drugs are manufactured, they undergo rigorous testing to ensure that they meet the required quality standards. This includes tests to verify the potency, purity, and stability of the drugs. The drugs are then packaged in sterile vials or ampules and are ready for distribution to healthcare providers. The use of generic sterile injectables has significantly reduced the cost of healthcare for patients and provided access to essential medications for those who would not otherwise be able to afford them.

Key Factors & Trends Driving The Global Generic Sterile Injectable Market


The rising cost of healthcare and the need to optimize healthcare spending have led to an increasing demand for cost-effective alternatives, including generic sterile injectables. Generic drugs are typically more affordable than their branded counterparts, making them an attractive option for patients and healthcare providers.

For example, the introduction of generic versions of commonly used sterile injectable drugs such as epinephrine (generic version of EpiPen) and adalimumab (generic version of Humira) has provided cost-effective alternatives for patients with conditions such as severe allergies and autoimmune diseases, respectively.

Patent Expiries

Many branded sterile injectable drugs have faced or will face patent expirations, allowing generic versions to enter the market. This provides an opportunity for generic manufacturers to introduce cost-effective alternatives, resulting in increased competition and market growth.

For example, the patent expiration of the blockbuster drug Herceptin (trastuzumab), a widely used sterile injectable drug for breast cancer, has paved the way for the entry of generic versions, providing more affordable options for patients and driving the growth of the generic sterile injectable market.

Aging Population

The global population is aging, leading to an increase in chronic diseases that require long-term treatment with sterile injectable drugs, such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. As the elderly population continues to grow, the demand for generic sterile injectable drugs is expected to increase. For instance, the increasing prevalence of age-related conditions like cancer has led to a higher demand for generic sterile injectable chemotherapy drugs, which are cost-effective alternatives to branded drugs.

Technological Advancements

Advancements in manufacturing technologies and processes, such as aseptic processing, lyophilization, and advanced fill/finish techniques, have improved the quality, safety, and shelf-life of generic sterile injectable drugs. These technological advancements have enabled generic manufacturers to produce high-quality products that are comparable to branded drugs, driving the adoption of generic sterile injectables and contributing to market growth.

For instance, the development of advanced aseptic manufacturing techniques has helped generic manufacturers produce sterile injectable drugs with higher levels of sterility assurance, ensuring patient safety and driving the growth of the generic sterile injectable market.

Increasing Focus On Biosimilars

Biosimilars, which are generic versions of biologic drugs, are gaining traction in the global generic sterile injectable market. Biosimilars offer cost-effective alternatives to expensive biologic drugs, and as more biologic drugs face patent expirations, there is a growing opportunity for biosimilar manufacturers to enter the market. Biosimilars have been particularly successful in areas such as oncology, rheumatology, and diabetes, where they provide affordable treatment options for patients. For example, biosimilar versions of drugs such as filgrastim (biosimilar to Neupogen) and rituximab (biosimilar to Rituxan) have been approved and are being used as generic sterile injectables, driving market growth.

Growth Of Self-administration

There is a growing trend toward self-administration of injectable drugs and home healthcare, particularly for chronic conditions that require long-term treatment. Generic sterile injectables are being developed and marketed with user-friendly features, such as prefilled syringes and autoinjectors, to enable easy self-administration at home. This trend is driven by factors such as patient convenience, cost-effectiveness, and the need to reduce the burden on healthcare facilities. For instance, generic versions of drugs like insulin, epinephrine, and adalimumab, which are commonly used for chronic conditions, are increasingly being offered in self-administered formats, contributing to market growth.Top of Form

Focus On Specialized And Complex Injectables

Generic manufacturers are increasingly targeting specialized and complex injectable drugs, which require specialized manufacturing processes and expertise. These include drugs such as cytotoxic oncology drugs, complex biologics, and high-potency drugs. The development and production of such complex generic sterile injectables require significant investment in research and development, regulatory compliance, and manufacturing capabilities. However, they offer significant opportunities for generic manufacturers, as they address the demand for cost-effective alternatives to these high-cost drugs. For example, generic versions of complex injectable drugs like paclitaxel (generic version of Taxol) and docetaxel (generic version of Taxotere) used in cancer treatment are gaining market share due to their affordability and availability.

Market Segment Insights

Therapeutic Applications

The global generic sterile injectable market is segmented into oncology, immunology, cardiovascular, neurology, autoimmune, anti-inflammatory, endocrinology, and other applications.  Among these, the largest segment is oncology. Cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally, and significant efforts are being made in the field of oncology to develop new therapies, improve patient outcomes, and enhance quality of life for cancer patients.

Oncology is prominent among all other therapeutic application segments due to the following factors:

  • Increasing Adoption of Biosimilars in Oncology: Biosimilars are gaining popularity in oncology due to their cost-effectiveness, comparable efficacy, and safety to the original biologics. As biologic drugs used in cancer treatment are often very expensive, biosimilars offer a more affordable treatment option. In recent years, there has been a surge in the development and approval of biosimilars in oncology, particularly for drugs such as trastuzumab (Herceptin), bevacizumab (Avastin), and rituximab (Rituxan). This trend is expected to continue driving growth in the generic sterile injectables market for oncology drugs.
  • Development of Complex Oncology Drugs: The oncology drug market is witnessing a shift toward the development of more complex and targeted therapies. These drugs are often monoclonal antibodies, which are large, complex molecules that are difficult to replicate. The production of these drugs requires advanced manufacturing capabilities and expertise, which presents a significant challenge for generic manufacturers. However, as these drugs become more prevalent, there is an increasing need for more cost-effective generic alternatives. Therefore, the development of generic sterile injectables for these complex oncology drugs is a key trend in the market.
  • Shift Toward Personalized Medicine: The growing emphasis on personalized medicine is also impacting the oncology generic sterile injectables market. Personalized medicine involves tailoring treatment to individual patients based on their genetic and biological characteristics. This approach is becoming more prevalent in oncology, as researchers are discovering more about the genetic drivers of cancer. This shift toward personalized medicine is creating a demand for more specialized and targeted drugs, which in turn is creating opportunities for generic manufacturers to develop specialized and targeted generic sterile injectables.

Type Segments

On the basis of type, the global generic sterile injectable market is segmented into monoclonal antibodies, cytokines, peptide hormones, vaccines, blood factors, antibiotics, and others. The largest segment is monoclonal antibodies, followed by the vaccine segment and the peptide hormones segment. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are laboratory-made molecules that can mimic the immune system's ability to recognize and target specific pathogens or cancer cells. They have gained significant attention and widespread use in various therapeutic areas due to their high specificity and effectiveness in treating a wide range of diseases.

Among all the types, monoclonal antibodies dominate the market due to the following factors:

  • Increasing Development of Biosimilars: Biosimilars, which are generic versions of monoclonal antibodies, are gaining popularity in the generic sterile injectables market. Biosimilars offer a more affordable alternative to expensive branded monoclonal antibodies, while still providing comparable efficacy and safety. The development and approval of biosimilars for monoclonal antibodies such as rituximab, trastuzumab, and adalimumab have been on the rise, and are expected to continue driving growth in the generic sterile injectables market for monoclonal antibodies.
  • Emergence of New Therapeutic Indications: Monoclonal antibodies are being developed for a range of therapeutic indications beyond their traditional use in oncology and immunology. As new indications emerge, the demand for generic sterile injectables for these monoclonal antibodies is also growing. For example, monoclonal antibodies such as dupilumab (Dupixent) and eculizumab (Soliris) are used to treat atopic dermatitis and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, respectively. The development of generic sterile injectables for these drugs represents a significant opportunity for generic manufacturers.
  • Advancements in Manufacturing Technology: The manufacturing of monoclonal antibodies is complex and requires specialized manufacturing capabilities. However, recent advancements in manufacturing technology, such as single-use bioreactors and continuous processing, have enabled more efficient and cost-effective production of monoclonal antibodies. These advancements have the potential to reduce the cost of manufacturing generic sterile injectables for monoclonal antibodies, making them more affordable and accessible to patients.

Geographic Segments

North America is expected to hold a significant share of the global generic sterile injectable market, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. Two specific trends driving the North American generic sterile injectable market are: including:

  • Increasing Adoption of Biosimilars: North America has seen a growing trend of adoption of biosimilars, including generic sterile injectables, as a cost-effective alternative to branded biologic drugs. Biosimilars are gaining acceptance in North America due to favorable regulatory policies, increasing demand for affordable healthcare, and growing pressure to contain healthcare costs.
  • Shift Toward Outpatient Settings: There is a growing trend toward shifting the administration of sterile injectables from hospitals to outpatient settings, such as ambulatory surgical centers and specialty clinics, in North America. This trend is driven by the need to reduce hospitalization costs, increase patient convenience, and improve access to injectable therapies for patients with chronic conditions. More patients will be able to access these medications.

Competitive Insights

Companies operating in the global generic sterile injectable market adopt various strategies to expand their market share and achieve sustainable growth. Some of the major growth strategies commonly employed by these companies include:

  • Product Portfolio Expansion: Companies in the generic sterile injectable market often focus on expanding their product portfolio to cater to a wider range of therapeutic areas and customer needs. This may involve developing generic versions of new sterile injectable drugs that are going off-patent or expanding into niche markets with limited competition. By offering a diverse range of generic sterile injectable products, companies can attract a larger customer base and increase their market share.
  • Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations: Collaborations, partnerships, and strategic alliances with other companies, including pharmaceutical manufacturers, contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs), and distribution partners, can be key growth strategies in the generic sterile injectable market. Such partnerships can provide access to new markets, technologies, and expertise, while also leveraging combined resources for research and development, manufacturing, and distribution capabilities. These collaborations can help companies achieve economies of scale, optimize their supply chain, and enhance their competitive positioning in the market.
  • Geographic Expansion: Expanding into new geographic markets is another common growth strategy adopted by companies in the generic sterile injectable market. This may involve entering emerging markets with increasing demand for affordable healthcare solutions or expanding into regions with favorable regulatory environments for generic drugs. Companies may establish local manufacturing facilities, distribution networks, or partnerships with local companies to penetrate new markets and gain a competitive advantage.

About The Author:

Aditi Shivarkar is principal consultant at insightSLICE, a market intelligence and strategy consulting company. She has been a part of the research industry for 13 years. She joined insightSLICE in 2021, and she works with clients to design studies that efficiently generate the data needed to answer their strategic market analysis, segmentation, brand equity, and pricing questions. She works across various domains, including healthcare, industrial automation, consumer goods, IT, and telecom.