Global spending on prescription drugs is set to reach
Today, 2-3% of all healthcare expenditure is on diagnostics. This sector, however, influences 60-70% of all decision-making processes in medicine.
Take one simple example: the decision on whether a patient has to be admitted to the hospital for several days, at a potential cost of over a thousand euros, rests on the results obtained from a €12 thermometer. By the same token, a thermometer can also prevent a hospital admission. Diagnostics is therefore important for a number of reasons: ineffective and superfluous treatments can be prevented at an early stage, and the right therapy can be optimized, with the resulting benefits in respect of treatment quality. This, in turn, reduces costs, because a small amount spent on diagnostics can help ensure that the large sums spent on treatment are invested effectively. Diagnostics is likewise set to account for only a comparatively small proportion of overall healthcare expenditure in future – although it will influence the majority of healthcare expenditure indirectly. This renders it extremely important for all players in the healthcare system, from patients via doctors, nurses and health insurance funds to companies. And that is why research expenditure and the rate of innovation in this sector will remain consistently high. As revolutionary technologies such as genetic diagnostics, biosensors and liquid biopsies become more common, diagnostics will continue to change the face of medicine in the future.
When it comes to growth alone, the pharmerging markets (see above) are the target for companies in the sector: “The biggest growth is in the Asia-Pacific region. We have a global presence at Röchling and are well represented in the pharmerging markets. We are also investing heavily here presently,” says Mari Foley, Marketing Manager at Roechling Medical Rochester. At the same time, the company also has its sights on the industrialized countries, according to Foley. There are several reasons for this. On the one hand, people are living longer on average, and their medical needs are consequently increasing. Then there is the aspect of progress. Ina Baumgärtel, market analyst at Röchling Medical in Neuhaus, explains: “The rate of innovation and pressure to innovate are both higher in markets such as Germany and the USA. As a highly innovative company, Röchling is not just keeping up with its rivals here, but is setting the pace and helping to define the medicine of the future. Not only is this a lucrative business, but it fits in well with our self-image.”