Analysts: Device market growth will outpace pharma by 2018

The global medical device market will reach $440 billion by 2018, growing at about 4.4% per year, according to a new report from EvaluatePharma. Contrast that with the prescription drug market, tabbed to grow at an annual rate of 2.5%, and devicemakers have reason for excitement.

But that growth won't be fueled by business as usual, EvaluatePharma says. In vitro diagnostics will be the industry's top segment by 2018, pulling in sales of $54.5 billion and outstripping old standbys like cardiac devices and imaging techs. Neurology devices will post the fastest growth, expected to expand by 6.1% per year to $7.3 billion, while orthopedics will be the slowest, growing 3.1% annually, according to the report.

Devicemakers' recent focus on emerging markets such as China will also move the medtech's needle upward, but the industry will need to adapt to a more cost-conscious environment in the developed world, EvaluatePharma says. "Medtech will continue to benefit from emerging market investments that are lifting standards of care, while cost conscious developed markets will continue to invest in more efficient machines, systems and procedures, which offer less hospital time and better patient outcomes," head of research Anthony Raeside said in a statement.

As for individual company performances, EvaluatePharma expects current trends to continue into 2018. Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), bolstered by its Synthes acquisition, will be the top seller worldwide, pulling in $37.8 billion in 2018. Roche ($RHHBY) will maintain its market leadership in diagnostics, and Medtronic ($MDT) will stay atop the cardiology world, holding a 21% market share, according to the report.

The entire report is available on EvaluatePharma's website.

- here's the release

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