Report: $403B CVD, stroke market leads to competitive medical device sector
Medical device companies vie for money-making products. Source: Parker Hannifin Corporation  
The economic cost of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke, a potential consequence of CVD, is enormous, estimated by the AHA and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to be $403.1 billion in 2006. As a result of such high demand the cardiovascular segment is fiercely fought over by medical device companies, which are investing heavily in device-based therapies that have the capability to cost effectively treat CVD patients, according to a report by Research and Markets.

The report said the competition between medical device companies in the market is increasingly intense and as a consequence, merger and acquisition activity rose dramatically in the sector in 2006, and has continued into 2007. Part of the rise can be attributed to an expanding U.S. economy, increases in corporate profits and stock prices, technological improvements, and growing product demand.
The two big sectors of the cardiovascular market where there are the most valuable markets to conquer are coronary stents and cardiac rhythm management devices, the report said.

Following balloon angioplasty procedures, approximately 30 percent of coronary arteries are affected by the complication. The launch of bare metal stents (BMS) in the 1990s seemed to alleviate the problem, but BMS continue to be associated with a restenosis rate of approximately 25 percent of patients being affected six months after stent insertion. Drug-eluting stents (DES) certainly made their mark with the value of the U.S. market alone rising from $1.1 billion in 2004 to $3.1 billion in 2006.

Just as there has been consolidation in the stent market, this also has occurred in the cardiac rhythm management (CRM) sector and three companies: Medtronic, Boston Scientific and St. Jude Medical hold approximately 90 percent of the market share, according to the Research & Market report.

The pacemaker market also was impacted by device recalls in 2005, while the world CRM market grew by 3 percent, the U.S. market declined in 2005 compared to 2004. The report said the dip in the market can be directly related to an oversaturated market combined with a loss of consumer confidence due to electro-stimulation device recalls.

Although not as large as the vascular intervention or CRM markets, the artificial heart valve market sector is gaining a lot of attention, the report said. There are two main types of artificial heart valves: mechanical and tissue valves or bioprostheses. Whereas bioprostheses do not require anticoagulation, they are not as durable as mechanical valves. On average, structural tissue valve degeneration occurs between 10 and 15 years after implantation.

The report further examined the impact of new technologies and the growth of the various sectors of the cardiovascular device market, in addition to describing the main geographical markets and the emerging ones such as India, South East Asia, China, which, due to their rapid economic growth are attracting the attention of market players of all sizes. However, gaining access to a market with a novel technology is not easy, in addition to being costly products to reimburse, because they often fall into high-risk class of devices.