Global demand for medical disposables is forecast to rise 6.6 percent annually to $245 billion in 2018. The strongest influence on growth will involve the upgrading and stricter enforcement of infection prevention protocols by hospitals and other health facilities throughout the world. Additionally, in most countries an increasing volume of hospital, surgical, and outpatient activity will boost the overall market for disposable supplies and devices employed in direct patient care. Lastly, global sales of consumer medical disposables, such as adhesive bandages, home test kits, and incontinence garments, will expand due to the impact of evolving demographic and epidemiological patterns as well as trends encouraging the regular practice of preventive medicine and self-treatment. These and other trends are presented in World Medical Disposables, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based market research firm.
Supplies and devices indicated for the treatment or management of widely prevalent chronic conditions will realize the fastest worldwide revenue growth among medical disposables. Drug delivery will remain another large revenue-generating application for medical disposables. Safety enhanced prefilled and hypodermic syringes and IV catheters will build up world demand based on their reduced risks of accidental staff and patient needlesticks before and after medication injections. Innovations in prefilled inhalers and transdermal patches will expand the range of chronic conditions adaptable to cost effective self-treatment.
The United States, China, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Brazil, India, Italy, and the United Kingdom will comprise the 10 largest national markets for medical disposables, combining to account for two-thirds of total world demand in 2018. According to analyst Bill Martineau, “Average annual growth in these markets will range from 3.6 percent in Japan to 15 percent in China during the forecast period of 2013 to 2018.” Demand for medical disposables in the United States, Western Europe, Japan, and most other developed countries will increase at a comparatively slow pace because their medical delivery systems are well established, accessible to most residents, and have already adopted stringent infection prevention standards. By contrast, growth in the BRIC countries and other emerging economies will exceed the world average as health care sectors are expanded, modernized, and adapted to formal infection prevention protocols.