BURLINGTON, Mass., Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that the Japanese electrophysiology (EP) mapping and ablation device market will expand through 2023 as physicians increasingly use ablation to treat atrial fibrillation (AF). The increasing acceptance of ablation as a primary treatment option for AF will spur adoption of premium-priced products designed specifically for this application, such as advanced loop diagnostic catheters, cryoablation catheters and contact force-sensing ablation catheters. Overall, by 2023, the market will reach $1.1 billion.
Other key findings from Decision Resources Group's coverage of the Japanese EP mapping and ablation device market:
Lengthy regulatory process: The Japanese market remains limited by a lengthy regulatory process, which has hindered the availability of some more-advanced devices. For example, Medtronic's cryoballoon only received approval in 2014, three years after the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this product.
Contact force-sensing catheters: However, Biosense Webster's ThermoCool SmartTouch contact force-sensing catheter was approved in Japan in 2012, two years before it received FDA approval. This is a result of an effort to streamline the regulatory process and more quickly approve devices that are widely regarded by physicians as being beneficial.
Reimbursement: In fact, reimbursement for contact force-sensing catheters is very favorable in Japan, resulting in these products being sold at a considerable price premium relative to other geographies, presenting a highly lucrative market opportunity for manufacturers with similar devices such as St. Jude Medical.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Roald Dhoska:
"In addition to a lengthy regulatory process, biennial reimbursement cuts from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare will continue to be a reality, forcing companies to lower prices. The conventional diagnostic and cryoballoon ablation catheter segments will be hardest hit by these cuts as reimbursement for these catheters in Japan is considerably higher relative to their foreign average price. Nonetheless, companies will continue to launch innovative premium-priced products aimed at treating AF. In addition to Medtronic's launch of the Arctic Front Advance cryoballoon catheter, St. Jude Medical's Viewflex Xtra intracardiac echocardiography ultrasound imaging catheter was also introduced in 2014."
"The launch of new innovative products poses a threat to Japan Lifeline, one of the few domestic companies present in the market. Traditionally, Japan Lifeline has focused on sales of conventional diagnostic and ablation catheters, which are becoming less popular in favor of more advanced technology."
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