BURLINGTON, Mass., Dec. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that the market for contrast agents and radiopharmaceuticals in the United States will grow slightly through 2023. Despite procedure volumes remaining relatively flat, revenues will increase, driven by market growth in the large radiopharmaceutical market.
Other key findings from Decision Resources Group's coverage of the U.S. contrast agent and radiopharmaceutical market:
- Restricted reimbursement: In 2011, the CMS changed its reimbursement criteria to assume higher utilization rates for diagnostic imaging systems. However, the same amount of coverage is being provided over the lifetime of the system, effectively reducing the amount reimbursed per scan. By contrast, private insurers are increasingly requiring preauthorization from radiology benefits managers in order to approve coverage for diagnostic imaging procedures.
- Health care reform: Health care reform will, however, positively influence procedure volumes by expanding the insured patient population. Greater demand for contrast-enhanced diagnostic procedures in general will also be triggered by the aging population in the United States.
- Lower doses per procedure: There is a push to lower the amount of contrast agent used per procedure due to safety concerns. Furthermore, newer, more advanced diagnostic imaging systems do not require as much contrast agent. As a result, the dosage of contrast agent used per procedure will decline going forward, thereby limiting revenues.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Stephanie Wood:
- "The ultrasound contrast agent segment will see notable procedure volume growth through 2023. This market has been historically limited by concerns over side effects associated with these contrast agents, but these concerns will wane going forward with reduced boxed warnings by the Food and Drug Administration, and the release of new products, which will increase physician awareness of the benefits of contrast-enhanced ultrasound through added marketing efforts. For example, Bracco Group launched its Lumason contrast agent in 2014, which is anticipated to see strong adoption."
- "The single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) radiopharmaceutical market will continue to be impacted by the unreliable supply of technetium-based radioisotopes. These isotopes are only produced by eight reactors worldwide, and shutdowns in these reactors will continue to result in unstable prices. These fluctuations will have a notable impact on the overall contrast agent and radiopharmaceutical market due to the large size of the SPECT radiopharmaceutical market."
- Stephanie Wood has written a Medtech 360 report on this subject entitled US Markets for Contrast Agents and Radiopharmaceuticals 2015.
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