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August 22, 2012

Growth for Cardiac Rhythm Devices Market is Bleak



Though it doesn’t sound small to me, the large global market for cardiac rhythm management (CRM) devices will see only minimal growth through 2016, to a value of over $9.6 billion, according to Millennium Research Group (MRG), an aggregator of medical technology market intelligence.

The report noted that CRM market is “mature and saturated, with little anticipated growth in procedure volumes, and a significant downward pressure on selling prices,” while adding that some technological improvements will allow for premium-priced sales, particularly in Europe and the United States.

Age and obesity, which lead to bradycardia, tachycardia and heart failure, are the main indicators for pacemakers, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices, all part of CRM, the story said.

The number of Americans aged 45 to 64 – who will reach 65 over the next two decades – increased by 31percent during this decade. Over one in every eight, or 13.1 percent, of the population is an older American. Persons reaching age 65 now live 18.8 years longer than in the past, all of which could make for a very promising market for CRM.

But in the developed economies, “a large proportion of the potential patient population already has an implanted CRM. With no untapped population segment, growth will come incrementally from newly eligible patients.”

The primary culprit for the CRM market slump in the U.S.? “The toxic mix of a U.S. Dept. of Justice investigation into hospitals’ ICD implant practices and a January 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that showed that 22.5 percent of patients fell short of medical guidelines required to receive the $25,000 (ICD) devices,” according to MRG.

Also part of the decline in CRM devices is the fact that 22 types of important and potentially life-saving medical devices - from automated external defibrillators to electroconvulsive therapy devices - remain without proper regulations, according to CBS News.

And, it was announced Monday that St. Jude Medical's next-generation lead coating for its implantable cardioverter defibrillators “may have integrity problems similar to those on the leads that were recalled by the FDA,” researchers found.

“Competitors will try to offset price declines through technical innovations,” MRG analyst Mirel Giugaru told the AP. “Until recently, for example, magnetic resonance imagining scanners were contraindicated for CRM users, meaning that some patients who could have benefited from an MRI couldn’t get one, but MRI-compatible devices will proliferate over the next five years.”

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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli


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