In vitro diagnostics market continues rapid growth

Advances in human genomics, bioinformatics, miniaturization, and microelectonics – often blended with IT and computer technology – have led to a rapid growth spurt in the market for in vitro diagnostic tests, with worldwide sales expected to surpass $44.5 billion by 2010, according to a study from Kalorama Information (New York).

The new study predicts that emerging markets, such as South America and Southeast Asia, where rising standards of living have sparked growing demands for quality medical care, will experience 10% to 20% annual growth. The European Union, Japan and the U.S., currently making up 85% of the market, will begin to lose market share, with their portion of the market decreasing to 80% by 2010.

Routine test segments-chemistry/immunoassay workstations, hematology and routine microbiology-currently make up about 70% of the market test wise. But intensive price pressure and automation continuously erode the market value of these segments and more expensive nucleic acid, pharmacogenomic tests and immunoassays for cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and infectious diseases will begin to overshadow these mature industries by 2010.

However, as the report's author Shara Rosen notes, "current and emerging technologies are far ahead of most healthcare regulations and reimbursement plans, making many of these newer approaches to patient management inaccessible and/or unaffordable in many areas of the world."