Contrast agent market in decline

The U.S. contrast agent and radiopharmaceutical market experienced a 15 percent decline from 2010 through 2012, and will continue to decline through 2017, according to a report from the Millennium Research Group.

The report, U.S. Markets for Contrast Agents and Radiopharmaceuticals 2012, determined that the market has been limited by reimbursement cuts and insurer restrictions, as well as price competition between similar products. The increasing difficulty in getting reimbursed for imaging scans will cut the demand for contrast agents, according to the report, although the growing number of elderly patients who need those types of scans will somewhat moderate that trend.

More significant, according to the report, is the impact of declining prices. Despite efforts of manufacturers to differentiate their products, imaging facilities are more than likely to treat them as generics that are easily substituted for each other. In order to increase profitability in this kind of environment companies need to increase volume, which leads to discounting and increasing price competition.

"One segment of the market [that] has not seen this kind of price competition is ultrasound contrast agents," MRG Manager Ravindra Sharma said in an announcement.

A November report from Frost & Sullivan found that the contrast agent and radiopharmaceutical market in Europe will increase over the next five years. According to the report, the market earned revenue of $1.39 billion in 2011, and should reach $1.69 billion by 2017.

Another report, issued by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., predicts that the global market for radiopharmaceuticals will reach $6.63 billion by 2017. The market will be driven, according to the report's authors, by an aging global population, increasing cardiovascular, oncological and neurological disorders, growing product penetration in new application areas, and a soaring demand for PET.

To learn more:
- see the announcement about the U.S. market

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