Disposable Medical Supplies Demand to Reach $59 Billion in 2013

U.S. demand for disposable medical supplies will increase 4.6 percent annually to $59 billion in 2013. The best growth opportunities are anticipated in intermittent catheters for urinary drainage; dry powder inhalers, prefilled syringes and transdermal patches for drug delivery; blood glucose test strips for diabetes monitoring; polymer and biological tissue sealants for wound closure; and daily contact lenses.  Hospitals will remain the largest market for disposable medical supplies based on the complexity of procedures performed and stringent infection prevention requirements. However, the home healthcare market will grow faster as consumers broaden preventive medicine and self-treatment activities to save out-of-pocket healthcare costs. These and other trends, including market share and product segmentation, are presented in Disposable Medical Supplies, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Catheterization, drug delivery and related products will remain the largest and fastest expanding group of disposable medical supplies, with demand increasing 5.4 percent annually to $17.5 billion in 2013.  Gains will reflect a rising base of chronic care patients who require surgery or continuous therapy. Discontinuation of Medicare reimbursement for catheter-linked healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), along with a new federally funded effort aimed at reducing the overall occurrence of HAIs, will foster the expanding use of disposable catheters, drug delivery and related products in hospitals and clinics. 

Demand for wound management supplies will reach $8.9 billion in 2013, up 3.3 percent annually from 2008.  The best growth opportunities are anticipated for highly absorbent alginate and foam, fast-healing collagen and growth factor, and new electricity-emitting dressings. 

Class IV surgical drapes and gowns will post the fastest gains among nonwoven medical textiles as surgical infection prevention safeguards are upgraded by hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers.  Highly absorbent, odor neutralized shields and underpads will see the fastest demand growth among incontinence garments based on comfort and protection advantages. Blood glucose test strips and home test kits for other diabetes markers, along with daily contact lenses, first aid kits, biological indicators and laboratory gloves, will provide the most attractive growth opportunities among other disposable medical supplies.