Restrictive Reimbursement System Compels Drug Manufacturers to Resort to Novel Marketing Strategies
London, UK - 20th September, 2005 - Even with 30 million cases of erectile dysfunction (ED) in Europe, the infertility drugs market has not taken off to the expected extent in the region. The blame could lie largely with the conservative attitude regarding infertility among both men and women. While more than half the men over 40 years of age suffer from this disorder, only 10 to 15 per cent seek treatment.
Drug companies can profit from these untapped markets by improving awareness in the target population. More men have already started consulting doctors, especially since ED is treatable at any stage.
There is also a high prevalence of ED in comorbid medical conditions and through associated risk factors such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, dyslipidemia and depression. Superior R&D and innovation-focused strategies will enable market participants to better harness the potential of this market.
The increasing demand for ED products such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra has strained healthcare budgets. Thus Infertility medicines are now excluded from the reimbursement list of many countries in Europe.
Although most European nations have several cost containment measures in place, the conditions for prescribing medicines, the number of pills covered by regulatory authorities and the level of co-payment vary among the various countries.
Initially, products such as Viagra were not reimbursed anywhere in Europe except in the United Kingdom. In most markets, there is no reimbursement even for Cialis and Levitra, which are cheaper than Viagra. Compensation for assisted reproductive technologies (ART) procedures is also limited in many countries.
"Companies have to focus on product innovation and competitive pricing for better targeting of consumers and brand positioning," says Mr. Himanshu Parmar, Industry Analyst with Frost & Sullivan (www.healthcare.frost.com). "They should also consider generic product development strategies to sustain revenue."
After scientists develop alternative convenient delivery methods, these R&D activities could also hugely improve patient compliance. Apart from creating innovative products, the market should facilitate patient education and strong direct-to-consumer (DTC) campaigns to ensure greater patient conformity to medical regimens.
Continuous monitoring by physicians and availability of drugs with better efficacy and low side effects will also vastly reduce patients' reluctance to comply with the prescribed therapies. Better compliance will make it easier for infertility drug companies to plan targeting strategies, especially since there is a distinct lack of product differentiation in this market.
There are various treatment methods using medications, surgery, ARTs and psychosomatic therapy to cure infertility in men and women. However, none of these treatments guarantee a healthy pregnancy.
In such a competitive market, companies have to focus on niche markets such as comorbid and contraindicated patient groups.
"Companies can also utilise strong DTC channels to reach the patients as well as leverage important opinion leaders to influence physicians," notes Mr. Parmar. "Collaborative strategies will also facilitate smaller companies in reaching the market with their innovative technologies."
If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end-users, and other industry participants an overview of the latest analysis of the Infertility Treatment Market in Europe (B534), send an e-mail to Katja Feick, Corporate Communications, at email@example.com with the following information: your full name, company name, title, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be sent to you via e-mail.
Analysis of Infertility Treatment Market in Europe (B534)
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Last updated on: 27/08/2010
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