Nov 16, 2011

A new report examining European in vitro diagnostic (IVD) market performance in 2010 sees flat or negative growth across most major EU member states due to cost containment measures and worsening economic conditions.

According to the European Diagnostic Manufacturers Association’s (EDMA) study, the European IVD market totaled €10.5 billion last year, with revenue growth of only two percent from 2009. Cardiology testing and diabetes-related IVD sectors as well as products for managing hospital-acquired infections showed the strongest growth rates in 2010, but all other testing areas showed flat or negative growth.

EMDA attributes these rates to European governments’ placing of limitations on IVD testing volumes and reimbursement to balance budgets. (Efforts by governments to implement ill-conceived austerity measures are also not helping.)

Germany remains Europe’s largest IVD market, but IVD revenue growth there was -0.01% in 2010 following a decision by the Federal Joint Committee to end reimbursement for some diabetes-related tests via statutory health insurance.

In France, new laws allowing consolidation of private laboratories also boosted procurement consolidations in 2010. Growth in the glucose self-testing segment totaled 6.4%, but all other IVD segments remained flat over the same period. Price decreases, Cost per Reportable Result (CPRR) efforts and more demanding customers all affected poor growth rates overall, according to EDMA.

The Italian IVD market showed modest growth (1.1%) last year, but late payments of as many as 700 days plagued the region; the market in Italy will likely face greater challenges as the country’s economy worsens.

Spain’s IVD market also grew slightly in 2010, by 0.5%, but EDMA expects pricing pressures to make Spanish market conditions more challenging for IVD manufacturers.

The UK has no official IVD reimbursement system in place, but cost containment efforts there have nonetheless driven laboratory consolidations. Efforts to contain the National Health System’s budget are also drawing more private-sector providers into the British IVD market.

It is difficult to see European IVD growth rates improving substantially going forward, as Continental governments large and small continue tightening health care-related budgets under the questionable assumption that austerity will stave off recession. 


  • Stewart Eisenhart