TORONTO, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Millennium Research Group (MRG), the global authority on medical technology market intelligence, reimbursement changes have caused the demand for intermittent catheters to increase significantly. In April 2008, Medicare changed reimbursement to cover up to 200 catheters per month, instead of the previous 4 that it covered. Over the past two years, market growth has been fueled by patients who have switched to a single-use regimen. There is, however, still tremendous growth potential in this market because the majority of patients who regularly use intermittent catheters are still generally comfortable reusing catheters because this has been a standard practice for many years. These patients typically use only four or five catheters per month.
Supported by its strong sales force, Coloplast had over 50% of the market in 2009, with C.R. Bard, Astra Tech, Rusch, and Hollister also accounting for a notable share in this segment that year. A substantial sales force is necessary to develop appropriate relationships with health care providers -- in order to ensure that prescriptions are being written specifically for a manufacturer's device -- and with distributors -- in order to ensure that they promote specific devices to end users. The dominant presence of larger competitors in this market and their existing relationships with health care providers and distributors may therefore prevent smaller competitors from entering or being more successful in this segment.
"In order to be successful, manufacturers will need to develop these relationships with health care providers and medical product distributors," says Aaron McCracken, Principal Analyst at MRG. "Companies will also need to brand their products directly to patients to ensure that they ask for a specific brand when ordering catheters from a distributor."