LONDON -- The European surgical drapes, gowns and gloves markets are moving slowly toward maturity and are dominated by few large market participants, according to new research by Frost & Sullivan. The growth rates for the market are modest, yet steady. The increase in nosocomial infections in parallel with the rise in surgical procedures ensures that there is always need for surgical drapes, gowns and gloves. In addition to this, the major factor driving market growth is the medical directive EN 13795, which has set high standards of quality for surgical drapes and gowns. More often than not, these standards are met only by the disposable drapes and gowns market. As a result, the conversion to disposable surgical drapes and gowns is likely to gain momentum. On the other hand, the surgical gloves market has reached saturation in the powder-free segment and is expected to see conversion to synthetic alternatives.
Frost & Sullivan finds that the surgical drapes, gowns and gloves markets in Europe earned revenues of $751.6 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach $1.9 billion in 2013.
"The prohibitive costs associated with nosocomial infections, both monetarily and physically, have placed enormous emphasis on the usage of surgical drapes, gowns and gloves during surgical procedures," notes Frost & Sullivan research analyst Sabita Ramachandran. "With an expected increase in surgical procedures, the consumption of surgical drapes, gowns and gloves is set to grow accordingly."
Cost-cutting measures are being undertaken in order to accommodate deficits in healthcare budgets. This is resulting in a decline in prices, thereby creating enormous pricing pressure for market participants. In response to this challenge, market participants are increasingly looking to cut costs to ensure that the cost-cutting measures undertaken by healthcare agencies are incorporated.
"With challenges such as price erosion, consolidation and the search for cost-effective solutions, the markets are reaching a stage of saturation," explains Ramachandran. "The decline in prices means that the profit margins of participants are limited and this is affecting R&D investments, which are crucial for maturing markets such as the European surgical drapes, gowns and gloves markets."
According to Frost & Sullivan, market participants will need to acquire or form alliances with companies that can help them broaden their product portfolio, rather than increase their market share. By expanding their product portfolio, companies will be able to participate in multi-product tenders, which help to reduce costs and provide multi-modal healthcare solutions.
Source: Frost & Sullivan