Testing for Flu a Big Business, According to Report
Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
This year's flu season is one of the most severe and that will drive testing markets, according to in vitro diagnostics market researcher Kalorama Information. The firm assesses market sizes and growth for healthcare products. At the height of the influenza or flu season, up to 6% of all U.S. outpatient visits can be for influenza-like illness. And that can be even greater during a heavy flu season. This has lead to a large market for influenza testing products, which is nearly a one billion dollar market, according to IVD market researcher Kalorama Information, who just completed its Infectious Disease Testing: World Market Analysis.
Although common, influenza is a dangerous, virulent and unfortunately, constantly-changing virus. The WHO has indicated that respiratory tract infections are among the top four causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In the United States, viral respiratory infections are the 7th-leading cause of death costing the lives of 60,000 people each year. Upper respiratory tract infections also represent one of the most common reasons for patients to seek outpatient care. Influenza tests are an important part of the point-of-care testing market. There's point-of-care or rapid tests, there's also lab-based immunoassay and molecular testing for influenza, and depending on the place of care various methods are used.
"When a patient seeks treatment for a potential infectious disease, such as influenza or others, that patient does not want to be told to wait a couple of days until a test result is available from the laboratory before treatment is started," said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information.
For some diseases such as influenza, physicians cannot wait very long before starting the antiviral therapy because the available influenza therapies must be started within a short period following infection. An example is Flumadine (rimantadine), which must be administered within 48 hours following onset of signs and symptoms of the flu. This has fueled the market for rapid influenza tests.
The relatively high prevalence of influenza and other respiratory pathogens has supported a voluminous global rapid immunoassay market, particularly in the United States. Abroad, Japan is one of the more significant rapid influenza diagnostic test markets due to the country's routine rapid testing protocol for Tamiflu prescriptions in primary care. The U.S. RIDT market features roughly 50-50 demand between hospitals and outpatient points of care such as POLs. The global rapid flu test market fluctuates with the severity of the flu season and pandemic activity in East Asia (2009 was a leading year for rapid test sales).
Kalorama Information reports on more than just flu, the firm reports on 30 different medical test products and their expected size and growth rates in 2018 and forecasted out to 2025.