While the hip and knee reconstruction market struggles to generate any significant growth in Europe and the U.S., hip and knee implants are increasingly being commoditized in developing economies such as Brazil, India, and China, and driving their respective markets at a rapid pace, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company’s report states that the booming populations of Brazil, India, and China have a growing middle class that can afford a new quality of healthcare, and they are also gaining access to increased reimbursement. As more training sessions take place in countries like China, where surgeons tend to devote more time to training compared with the U.S., there is promise for greater future adoption of techniques and products.
“There has been a slow and steady change in patients’ mentalities in developing countries, and more of the elderly are now willing to undergo the required joint replacement surgeries,” explained Linda Tian, MSc, GlobalData’s Managing Analyst covering medical devices. “Heightened public awareness will not only accelerate surgeons’ adoption of different types of implants, but will also effectively propel market growth.”
Emerging economies are even entering the U.S. market with FDA-approved implants, with companies such as Taiwan-based United Orthopedics attempting to sell them at prices that are lower than those of the products already on the market.
“An opportunity for multinational corporations in the emerging market would be to acquire local firms or create partnerships for better access to the healthcare markets,” Tian said. “Often, local companies have stronger sales infrastructures that can be capitalized on through partnerships.
“Multinational corporations have historically accounted for most of the market in these emerging countries, but now more than 30 percent of the market is held by domestic manufacturers. This has forced multinationals to rethink the value for the price of their products and to reassess their strategy for sustainability.”