Narcotics Analgesics Market Size & Share, by Type (Non-Opioids, Opioids); Application (Pain Management, Cough Treatment, Diarrhea); Administration Route (Oral, Intravenous, Rectal, Transdermal, Topical) - Global Supply & Demand Analysis, Growth Forecasts, Statistics Report 2023-2035

  • Report ID: 4203
  • Published Date: Feb 22, 2023
  • Report Format: PDF, PPT

Global Narcotics Analgesics Market Definition

Narcotic analgesics are drugs that are also identified as medication that is used to reduce the pain. They are also known as the opioid pain killers. They are only prescribed by a doctor in case the pain cannot be managed by normal painkillers. The few narcotics available in the market are codeine, fentanyl, morphine, hydrocodone, tramadol, oxycodone, meperidine, and hydromorphone. The narcotics analgesic works by binding the specific receptors on the brain that in turn blocks the sensation of the pain.

The cerebrum and medulla of the central nervous system are the primary targets of analgesics. Other target sites of narcotics analgesics are muscles of the digestive and respiratory tracts and glandular secretions. The exact working of narcotics after attaching with receptors is still not clearly defined. Usually, the working of narcotics requires polar reaction of the amine groups. For this process to get executed it requires a flat area to hold a flat non-polar aromatic ring, a hollow cavity to accommodate another series of rings, and an anionic site.

Narcotic analgesics are used to treat the acute pain, including surgery, injuries, and other medical problems. Moreover, they are also used for reducing the chronic pains caused by arthritis, chest pain, heart pains, cancer, and others.

The morphine effects are primarily imposed on the central nervous system. On the other hand, opiates control the cough center present in the medulla of the brain by suppressing it. However, the prolonged use of narcotics can lead to dependency as they are highly addictive.

Global Narcotics Analgesics Market: Key Insights

Base Year


Forecast Year




Base Year Market Size (2022)

~ USD 27 Billion

Forecast Year Market Size (2035)

~ USD 51 Billion

Regional Scope

  • North America (U.S., and Canada)
  • Latin America (Mexico, Argentina, Rest of Latin America)
  • Asia-Pacific (Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Rest of Asia-Pacific)
  • Europe (U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, NORDIC, Rest of Europe)
  • Middle East and Africa (Israel, GCC North Africa, South Africa, Rest of the Middle East and Africa)

Global Narcotics Analgesics Market Size, Forecast, and Trend Highlights Over 2023 - 2035

The global narcotics analgesics market is estimated to garner a revenue of ~USD 51 Billion by the end of 2035 by growing at a CAGR of ~5% over the forecast period, i.e., 2023 – 2035. Further, the market generated a revenue of ~USD 27 Billion in the year 2022. The growth of the market can be attributed to the rise in the research and development of narcotics analgesics worldwide. Further, the increased use of heroin, a type of narcotic analgesic, is also expected to contribute to market growth. In 2019, more than 40,000 people tried heroin for the first time and in 2020, around 7,00,000 people used heroin. Besides this, the rise in concern for the misuse of pain killers and the myth that pure heroin is less harmful than less pure heroin forms is also poised to create numerous opportunities for market growth in the coming years. Also, a growing tolerance to non-narcotics analgesics is the major reason for the constant increase in sales of narcotics analgesics.


In addition to these, factors that are believed to fuel the market growth of narcotics analgesics include the quick onset of action of these pharmaceutical drugs and the high efficiency of these drugs for neuropathic pain management. In addition to this, the rise in demand for drugs for pain relief related to the central nervous system (CNS), such as morphine, is also anticipated to drive market growth. International Narcotics Control Board reported that 79% of the world’s population consumed 13% of morphine used for the management of pain and suffering or 1% out of 388.2 tons of total morphine manufactured across the world.

Global Narcotics Analgesics Market: Growth Drivers and Challenges

Growth Drivers

  • Increased Research for Cancer Treatment Drugs – Narcotics analgesics is the new approach for the treatment of cancer patients, the medication developed from opioids is highly used for cancer treatment. Therefore, rising investment is to augment the development of more effective drugs. As per the National Cancer Institute, the funding for cancer research increased from USD 4,952.6 in 2015 to USD 6,440.4 in 2019.

  • Increase in Incidence of Chronic Diseases such as Cancer, Heart Disorders, Arthritis, and Tuberculosis – The unhealthy lifestyle has led to an increase of chronic diseases among the population. As a result of rising diagnosis of high number of chronic diseases is expected to increase the adoption of narcotics analgesics in the healthcare sector. As they are extensively used for managing the main that cannot be reduced by the use of normal painkillers. About 60 million adults have arthritis in the U.S, which is about 1 in 4 adults.

  • Rising Consumption of Different Types of Drugs –Rising drug consumption in the world can create good opportunities for the increased use of narcotics analgesics. In the year 2020, the use of different types of drugs increased by more than 20% from 2010 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Increasing Dispensing Rates of Opioids – Opioids are a type of medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. Opioids can be developed in the laboratory or from the opium poppy plant. They function by binding to opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain, gastrointestinal system, spinal cord, and other organs to suppress pain signals. Some opioids may be used to treat cough and diarrhea as well. For instance, in 2020, over 3% of U.S countries dispensed adequate opioid prescriptions for every individual to have one. Further, the overall dispensing rate in the U.S in the same year was over 40 prescriptions per 100 people, while some countries had nine times higher rates.

  • Government Support to Improve Pharmaceutical and Analgesic Industries – Rising spending on pharmaceuticals can boost the advancement of new forms of drugs including those made from the base of narcotics. The estimated R&D expenditure in the pharmaceutical industry in 2019 was more than USD 80 billion.


  • Addiction to Narcotics Drugs – Narcotics drugs such as heroines can be highly addictive if consumed once. Addiction can further push individuals into serious disorders like substance abuse in the longer run. Their misuse, abuse, and use beyond of prescribed medical purposes can result in opioid dependence and other health issues. The World Health Organization estimates that drug usage is responsible for around half a million fatalities worldwide.
  • Shortage of Analgesic Medication
  • Imposed Regulations to Prevent Misuse

Market Segmentation

The global narcotics analgesics market is segmented and analyzed for demand and supply by administration route into oral, intravenous, rectal, transdermal, and topical. Out of the five types of administration routes, the oral segment is estimated to gain the largest market share over the projected time frame. The growth of the segment can be attributed to the simple administration through the oral route, the non-invasive nature of administration, and the increased efficiency of these drugs when compared to other routes of administration. Over 80% of drugs in high demand are oral route products with a value of USD 30 billion and a growth rate of 10% annually. 

The global narcotics analgesics market is also segmented and analyzed for demand and supply by application into pain management, cough treatment, and diarrhea. Amongst these three segments, the pain management segment is expected to garner a significant share by the end of 2035. Narcotics analgesics are highly used to relieve pain killer, these drugs can be really effective in reducing the pain in the patients suffering from cancer and cardiovascular issues. Therefore, the rising cases of cancer and heart patients is expected to boost the segment growth. According to the World Cancer Research Fund International in 2020, there were 18.1 million new cases of cancer worldwide. 9.3 million of these instances involved men, while 8.8 million involved women. Furthermore, one in fourteen persons worldwide suffers from a heart or circulatory illness. Moreover, according to current estimates, there are around 290 million women and nearly 260 million men suffering from heart and circulation illnesses worldwide.

Our in-depth analysis of the global narcotics analgesics market includes the following segments:

            By Type

  • Non-Opioids
  • Opioids

           By Application

  • Pain Management
  • Cough Treatment
  • Diarrhea

           By Administration Route

  • Oral
  • Intravenous
  • Rectal
  • Transdermal
  • Topical


Global Narcotics Analgesics Market Regional Synopsis

The North American narcotics analgesics market, amongst the market in all the other regions, is projected to hold the largest market share by the end of 2035. The growth of the market can be attributed majorly to the increased consumption of opioids for both medical and non-medical purposes. Over 80% of the world's opioids are consumed in the United States, which has 4.4% of the world's population. About 99% of the hydrocodone used worldwide is used in the US. Moreover, between 2015-2018 about 10.7% of U.S adults aged 20 and above used one or more prescription pain medications (opioid or nonopioid) and 5.7% used one or more prescription opioids, as per the statistics by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, rising cases of arthritis and osteoarthritis in the region are also expected to augment the market growth in the region. In 2020, every 1 in 4 adults in the United States are suffering from arthritis, further, it is estimated around 27 million adults in the region are likely to have arthritis by 2040. In addition to this, the most prevalent joint condition in the US is osteoarthritis. More than 33 million American people will have osteoarthritis by 2020.


Top Featured Companies Dominating the Global Narcotics Analgesics Market

  • Pfizer Inc.
    • Company Overview
    • Business Strategy
    • Key Product Offerings
    • Financial Performance
    • Key Performance Indicators
    • Risk Analysis
    • Recent Development
    • Regional Presence
    • SWOT Analysis
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
  • AbbVie Inc.
  • Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
  • Sanofi S.A.
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Janssen Global Services, LLC
  • Novartis AG
  • Bayer AG
  • GlaxoSmithKline plc



In the News

  •  Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. announced a settlement agreement with the State of New York and its subdivisions, resolving their opioid-related claims against the Company. The settlement will provide about USD 263 million in funding for New York and its subdivisions to address opioid-related issues and as reimbursement for attorney fees and costs.

  • AbbVie Inc. in association with Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. announced the release of first and only gonadotropin-releasing hormone ORILISSA that has been approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration.

Author Credits:  Radhika Gupta, Shivam Bhutani

  • Report ID: 4203
  • Published Date: Feb 22, 2023
  • Report Format: PDF, PPT

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Increased research for cancer treatment drugs and rising consumption of different types of drugs are the major factors driving the growth of the narcotics analgesics market.

The market is anticipated to attain a CAGR of ~5% over the forecast period, i.e., 2023 – 2035.

Shortage of analgesic medication and addiction to narcotics drugs are estimated to hamper the market growth.

The market in North America is projected to hold the largest market share by the end of 2035 and provide more business opportunities in the future.

The major players in the market are Pfizer Inc, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., AbbVie Inc, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Sanofi, Abbott, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, LLC, Novartis AG, Bayer AG, GlaxoSmithKline plc, and others.

The company profiles are selected based on the revenues generated from the product segment, geographical presence of the company which determine the revenue generating capacity as well as the new products being launched into the market by the company.

The market is segmented by type, application, administration route, and by region.

The oral segment is anticipated to garner the largest market size by the end of 2035 and display significant growth opportunities.

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