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Radiotherapy market purchasing insights

October 22, 2021
Rad Oncology
From the October 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

By Julie Johnson

The radiotherapy market has seen substantial growth as the prevalence of cancer cases continues to rise across the U.S. The market was valued at over $6 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2021 to 2028. Although the market continues to grow, purchasing activity for radiotherapy systems began to slow in 2020 as resources were reallocated to other areas to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. This prompted many facilities to put capital equipment purchases on hold. Over the past few months, as 2021 budgeting restrictions are starting to lift, we have begun to see an uptick once again in purchasing activity in the radiotherapy market.

A key consideration in the radiotherapy market has always been the high cost of purchasing a new system. In addition to equipment costs, other concerns such as vaulting, shielding, and construction expenditures can factor into the decision-making process. The treatments offered and applications will also determine what type of radiotherapy system healthcare organizations will purchase. Due to the complexity and high cost of the technology, choosing the right radiotherapy system can be a meticulous process. It often involves multiple groups that can include physicians and other clinicians, capital equipment teams, and administrators.

The most common type of system symplr customers purchase is a linear accelerator (LINAC). A medical LINAC delivers external beam radiation treatment to target cancer cells in the body using high-energy X-rays, which can include:

• Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
• Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
• Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT)
• Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
• Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)

The two vendors in the market with the most activity and customer interest are Varian and Elekta. Siemens Healthineers previously produced linear accelerators but withdrew from the market in 2011. However, on April 15, 2021, Siemens Healthineers announced it had completed the acquisition of Varian in a $16.4 billion deal, which positions it to be a leader in the radiotherapy market.

Varian has led the market with 73% of all quoting activity seen in the past 12 months. The majority of customer interest is for the TrueBeam system, with an average purchase price (APP) of $2,843,800. Elekta is second in the market, with 17% of all quoting activity. Customer interest has been equally divided between the Versa HD, with an APP of $2,849,150, and the Elekta Infinity, with an APP of $1,778,041. As Varian and Elekta are the two leaders in the market, competition is limited, and negotiating price can be challenging, as most customers will remain loyal to one vendor due to the complexity, cost, and time of replacing a single unit. Standardization is imperative, especially for centers that are operating multiple LINACs.

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