TORONTO--()--According to Millennium Research Group (MRG), the global authority on medical technology market intelligence, procedural growth in the US contrast agent and radiopharmaceutical market will be limited by reimbursement cuts and insurer restriction. Combined with continued serious price competition between products that are extremely similar, this has led to a sharp 15 percent contraction in the market between 2010 and 2012. The decline will continue through 2017.
“One segment of the market has not seen this kind of price competition is ultrasound contrast agents”
Both the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and private insurers have been taking significant steps to minimize healthcare cost growth. Private health insurers typically use radiology benefits managers to preauthorize scans before approving reimbursement, often making such preauthorization mandatory. The increased difficulty in getting reimbursed for imaging scans will curb demand for the contrast agents and radiopharmaceuticals used in these procedures. Growth in the elderly population that requires contrast-enhancing imaging or nuclear medicine for diagnosis and intervention will moderate this pressure somewhat after 2013.
The most significant impact on the market will come from declining prices. While manufacturers try to differentiate their products in a number of ways, and many of them are still under patent, imaging facilities treat them as generics that are easily substitutable for each other. The path to profitability in such a commoditized market is through sales volume, and sales volume is only gained through discounting. The result has been fierce price competition that will continue.
“One segment of the market has not seen this kind of price competition is ultrasound contrast agents,” said MRG Manager Ravindra Sharma. “Lantheus Medical Imaging’s DEFINITY has had nearly 90 percent market share, allowing it to support prices. However, recent shortages in DEFINITY have left an opening for GE Healthcare’s slightly lower-cost Optison to gain share. If additional competition from Bracco Diagnostic’s SonoVue comes in 2014, as anticipated, the result will be downward pressure on these prices as well. What might alleviate some of this pressure is if Bracco decides to concentrate on the radiology market leaving the cardiology market, in which DEFINITY and Optison play, to the existing competitors.”
The leading competitors in the US contrast agent and radiopharmaceutical market are Cardinal Health, GE Healthcare, Triad Isotopes and Bracco Diagnostics.
Millennium Research Group’s US Markets for Contrast Agents and Radiopharmaceuticals 2012 report includes unit, average selling price and revenue information, along with market drivers and limiters and competitive landscape for radiopharmaceuticals, computed tomography (CT) and X-ray contrast agents, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents and ultrasound contrast agents in the United States.
About Millennium Research Group
Millennium Research Group (www.MRG.net), a Decision Resources Group company (www.DecisionResourcesGroup.com), is the global authority on medical technology market intelligence and the leading provider of strategic information to the healthcare sector. The company provides specialized industry expertise through multiclient market research, ongoing Marketrack™ projects, customer loyalty tracking, facility-level procedure forecasting, and customized solutions.
About Decision Resources Group
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