The European market for orthopedic biomaterials saw a decline between 2010 and 2012 due to a period of economic uncertainty and severe budgetary restrictions. However, this rate of decline has been diminishing, a promising sign for future growth. As the market continues to recover from the economic turmoil, it is projected that for the first time in the last three years, it will have a positive growth in 2013. At a stable growth rate, the European orthopedic biomaterials market is expected to exceed €376 million by 2019. However, this is still lower than the market value of nearly €419 million observed in 2009, a year before the economic downturn.
Accounting for more than 95% of the entire biomaterials market, hyaluronic acid (HA) viscosupplementation and bone graft substitutes (BGS) are and will remain to be the two driving forces of the market over the forecast period. The competitiveness of the HA market has had a negative impact on the average selling price (ASP) of the products in recent months. However, it is predicted that the BGS market will enjoy a moderate growth in the future with the rising popularity of BGS products over autografting, and due to trends toward minimally invasive surgeries.
The market for orthopedic biomaterials is expected to grow at an accelerating rate over the coming years due to numerous factors, such as the aging population, product innovation, reimbursement changes, and continued recovery from the economic crisis.
With Affordability and Easy Accessibility, the Synthetic Segment Will Occupy the Greatest Share of the BGS Market
Synthetic materials come in the form of putty, paste, or granules. They also vary according to their composition, which includes tricalcium phosphate (TCP) and hydroxyapatite (HAP) based synthetics. Although the price range for these materials differs greatly depending on their form, the ASP is generally lower than those of allografts and demineralized bone matrix (DBM), making synthetic products an attractive option.
Due to economic uncertainties, affordability has become the primary concern for hospitals and patients. Coupled with regulatory changes that restricted allograft usage, synthetics had replaced allografts as the leading material in the European BGS market in 2012. Countries with a strong synthetic market include Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland. A similar trend is seen in the Scandinavian countries. Since the regulation of allograft material is generally very strict in Scandinavia and DBMs are largely prohibited, the synthetic market will remain strong throughout the forecast period.
Over the forecast period, the synthetic market will grow moderately while the allograft and DBM markets continue to struggle and decline due to regulatory restrictions and budget shortfalls. However, the rise of the synthetic segment will diminish the effect of declining allograft and DBM segments, resulting in a net growth of the BGS market in Europe over the long run. The synthetics segment is expected to be the driving force of the BGS market as it continues to emerge from the Euro crisis.
With Single and Three-Injection Segments Stagnant, the Five-Injection Cycle Is to Become the Fastest Growing Segment in the European HA Market
The European HA market has been affected by the Euro crisis in recent years. Competitors in the market aggressively cut down the ASP of their products to attract more customers in order to remain competitive in a period of economic uncertainty. This trend was further driven by hospital purchases with limited budgets in certain countries. Due to aggressive price rollbacks, the total revenue of the HA market was declining slightly, even though the number of procedures were growing. While the single and three-injection segments made up for nearly 90% of the total HA market, they have been rather stagnant in recent years. The lone bright spot is the resurgence of the five injection cycle, specifically in the German market.
Germany has regulatory policies that include monetary incentives per visit for doctors. The majority of the German HA market is the five injection cycle segment, which had been suffering from aggressive price cuts in recent years. In 2013, it is expected that the ASP of HA products will stop declining and increase slightly for the forecast period. Given the enormous size of the five injection cycle market in Germany, the growth in ASP immediately and almost single-handedly has reversed the trend of the entire European five injection market from declining to growing. In the future, the ASP of the five injection treatment will grow at a stable rate, which will result in a slight increase of the total five injection cycle in Europe.
Over the forecast period, the five injection segment with relatively strong growth will carry the total HA market, while the single and three-injection segments continue to struggle as the markets recover from the Euro crisis.
The information contained in this article is taken from two detailed and comprehensive reports published by iData Research entitled “European Markets for Orthopedic Biomaterials 2011” and “European Markets for Orthopedic Biomaterials 2013”. These reports are part of a global series including 15 European countries, the U.S., China, India, and Asia-Pacific (Australia, South Korea, and Japan).
For more information, visit www.idataresearch.net.