by Heather Mayer
, DOTmed News Reporter | August 26, 2010
A 5.8 percent yearly increase in the molecular imaging device market is expected to increase to $6.6 billion worldwide by 2014, according to a market research report from Kalorama Information.
“[The growth] is not entirely unreasonable,” says Dr. Michael Graham, immediate past president of SNM and professor of radiology and director of nuclear medicine at the University of Iowa.
In 2009, the market was worth $5.1 billion. Despite the recession, the market is continuing to develop, thanks to growth from CT, MRI, ultrasound and fusion imaging modalities, according to the report. And the radiopharmaceuticals industry is also expected to continue growing.
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What may be the biggest growth factors, explains Graham, are the developments in personalized medicine therapies and new imaging biomarkers. But without approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, reaching $6.6 billion is “unlikely to happen,” says Graham. “It will be an uphill effort,” he says.
Molecular imaging is becoming an extremely important tool in cancer therapy, enabling doctors to determine whether a specific treatment will work on a patient. And not only will this help cancer treatment, knowing if a treatment will work before testing it will cut costs, says Graham. According to the Kalorama report, cost savings will drive almost a 6 percent increase in the market.
“If we can ensure that the right patient gets the right drug and the patient [who] does not need the drug doesn’t get it, there is a significant potential for saving money,” says Graham.
“Examinations that can facilitate earlier diagnosis of disease and the most appropriate treatment are in order,” the report said. “Such tests, including imaging diagnostics, can lessen health care expenses and improve patient prognosis. Annual growth for molecular imaging modalities through 2014 will be good, as the knowledge which molecular modalities have to offer will spur use of these systems.”
The researchers and analysts used a number of criteria to make these forecasts, including past growth, disease statistics and forecasts, products on the market and investment in future products, price history and communication with industry experts, according to Kalorama.
“Even a cutting-edge area such as molecular diagnostics, which is fairly new, has not shown tremendous surprise over the years,” said Bruce Carlson, the publisher of Kalorama Information in an e-mail to DOTmed News. “Growth has been good but has been predictable.”
While Graham recognizes that predicting the future is “always uncertain,” he believes there will be continuing development in the industry.
“But what’s going to happen 10 years from now, frankly, I don’t know,” he says.