European heart valve repairs market to reach nearly $400M by 2014
The growth of tissue valves, paralleled by the rising popularity of minimally invasive techniques, will continue to drive the growth of European heart valve repairs market to an estimated $398.3 million by 2014, according to a new report issued by Frost & Sullivan.

According to the report, the European heart valve repairs market was $263.7 million in 2007.

“Continuous inroads made by tissue valves and the development of minimally invasive techniques such as percutaneous heart valve therapies (PHVT) are driving the expansion of the heart valve repairs markets,” according to Sowmya Rajagopalan, a Frost & Sullivan research analyst. “The risk to the patient is drastically minimized by these techniques, reinforcing the increased level of confidence in them.”

Unlike mechanical valves, tissue valves have exhibited low risk of anti-coagulation. The report noted that improved technology and nearly two decades of research studies have helped expand the use of tissue valves, with an increasing number of patients opting to use them. PHVT-based measures for heart valve repairs will also boost the market because of the ease of implantation, resulting in the minimization of post-operative risks and complications.

However, market prospects will be hampered by the progressive decline in prices, and such price erosion is being caused by cost-cutting measures to accommodate deficits in healthcare budgets, according to Frost and Sullivan. The report also said that the market will also slow down due to declining growth in the mechanical valves market.

“Market participants are trying to optimize prices because of competition,” Rajagopalan said. “At the same time, government budgetary constraints are placing the onus of limiting prices on manufacturers.”

To sustain market growth, Frost & Sullivan advised industry participants to develop new technologies that reduce the risks for patients. In addition to the clinical benefits, such new technologies should be developed with cost optimization in mind.