Nuclear medicine market could climb to $8.05B by 2020

The worldwide market for nuclear medicine was estimated at around $5.5 billion in 2013, but by 2020 that figure is expected to grow to $8.05 billion at an annual compound growth rate of 5.6 percent, according to a report by IQ41 Research And Consultancy.

North America accounted for more than half of the total market share for nuclear medicine and radiopharmaceuticals in 2013. And diagnostic procedures took a majority of the share at 88.6 percent of procedures.

Growth in the market is expected to be carried by increased application of radioisotope therapies; more hybrid imaging; fewer, if any, isotope shortages; and more awareness and a higher regard for nuclear medicine procedures.

The compound annual growth rate is thought to increase over the years until 2020 due in part to rising medical expenditure, better infrastructure and more cyclotrons being established in South America and Russia. The report also mentions a new reactor facility in South Africa in a collaboration between Austrialia and South Africa.

The biggest names in the industry held more than 80 percent of the market share in 2013. Among the biggest were Cardinal Health, Mallinckrodt, Lantheus Medical imaging, Nordion Inc, Triad Isotopes, IBA Group, Siemens Healthcare, GE Healthcare, Positron Corporation and NorthStar Medical.

The market research includes end users such as research laboratories, diagnostic centers, hospitals and other institutions. Radiopharmaceutical drugs in the report include but are not limited to technetium-99, gallium-67, iodine-123, yttrium-90, thallium-201, rubidium-82 and F-18 FDG. Procedures and applications include oncology, neurology, cardiology and nephrology, and radioisotope therapies such as brachytherapy, alpha-radiation and beta-radiation.

Limiting factors and challenges in the industry include high cost, regulator challenges, reduced reimbursement and the short half-lives of isotopes.