The market for nuclear medicine in the Asia-Pacific region is majorly driven by factors such as increasing incidents of cancer and cardiac ailments, rising application of SPECT and PET, and growing public awareness about healthcare.
Increasing incidence of cancer and cardiac ailments is the major driver of the market. Nuclear medicine shows a huge potential in treating cardiac and cancer diseases. According to Cancer Index, it is estimated that 6,763,000 new cases and 4,499,500 deaths occur every year due to cancer in the Asian region. Cardiology applications will continue to demonstrate strong growth in the market.
Strict regulatory policies are hindering the market growth in this region. Regulatory requirements pose a hurdle to translational research and clinical investigations. For example, in India, all the approvals for nuclear medicine products are given by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), and, including diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals and radio therapeutics, undergo regulatory procedures by AERB. Similarly, in other countries, such as China, have full government infrastructure and corresponding legal system for the safety of nuclear medicine/radiopharmaceuticals. There are several regulatory departments in China to ensure the safety of radiopharmaceuticals, such as the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA), Ministry of Health (MOH), and State Environment Protection Administration (SEPA). This indicates the focus on regulation of the nuclear medicine which makes the regulation process strict.
Key Market Trends
Cardiology Application is Expected to Experience Strong Growth in the Market
The application segment is further sub-segmented into cardiology, neurology, oncology, and other applications. The major factor driving the growth of the market is the rising prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) over the region. According to the latest OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) data, potential years of life lost, which was found to be 807 per 100 000 population for cardiovascular diseases in Japan, is 39% greater than the OECD average of 581, signifying that, among the Japanese population, CVD-related deaths occur much earlier in life than majority of the other OECD countries. In addition, as compared to that in the United States and Europe, the lower mortality from coronary heart disease and higher mortality from stroke constitute a unique cardiovascular profile for Japan. The prevalence of coronary heart disease has amplified among middle-aged men all across Japan.
The diagnostics segment is further segmented into SPECT and PET. PET imaging radioisotopes have many applications in clinical neurology, which involves movement disorders, epilepsy, brain tumors, dementia, stroke, and neuronal plasticity. Future applications include early diagnosis of brain metastases, Parkinson syndromes, and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The market for radioisotopes is expected to be larger in the developing countries because of the increasing awareness among people about radioisotopes, increasing the incidence of chronic diseases, like cancer, and increasing population.
There is moderate competition among the players of the Asia-Pacific Nuclear Medicine market. However, this competition is not by virtue of competitive pricing or product differentiation. Additionally, big players of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are leveraging their huge capital reserves to venture into this market, which is further increasing the competition. It is expected that in the coming years, few small to mid-sized companies will penetrate the market and hold a substantial share in the Asia-Pacific region.
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