Friday, October 14, 2011

"Class" Long Term Care no longer part of Health Care Reform

 The Obama Administration has confirmed that long-term care insurance will not be part of healthcare reform, a provision that actually made the Long Term Care Industry one of the industries cited by Kalorama Information as benefiting from healthcare reform in its report. "Healthcare Reform: Winners and Losers"

One of the conditions of passage of the healthcare reform bill was that a study would be conducted to assure that long term care insurance would be available and sustainable for 75 years.  The certification could not be made, thus the provision was dropped. 

HHS stated in a recent press release that the problem has not gone away.  The industry may have expected some increase from the health care reform bill, but as previous Kalorama Information research has indicated, this is a growing industry that will continue to see revenues despite the provision's failure. 

"The Oncology Report" Cites Kalorama Cancer Rx Forecast

In the past few years, we've noticed that biotech products like  TKIs are taking market share from chemo products and espcecially hormone therapies.  This trend was reported on in the Oncology Report, citing Kalorama's market estimate by analyst Melissa Elder.  

Of course it should be clear that pricing is part of the story behind revenue growth of biological approaches to cancer. Treatments for Avastin or Herceptin can add up to scores of thousands of dollars.  Still, the success of these products commerically does indicate increasing effectiveness and acceptance by government agencies, payors, providers and patients.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

FISH Can Be Utilized For Infectious Disease

Making Germs Glow - we've noticed the trend of FISH testing being used not only for its key application of cancer testing but, increasingly, for detection of infectious disease. A University of Arizona team has found that a specific type of FISH testing can reduce wait time to deliver eager patients news about bloodstream infections.

Every year, more than 875,000 patients are diagnosed with bloodstream infections in the U.S., resulting in more than 90,000 deaths and significant costs to the health-care system.  The article one company utilizing a PNA-FISH (peptide nucleic acid fluorescent in situ hybridization) technology that can provide evidence of infection in hours and not days.  FISH uses fluorescent molecules tagged to genetic sequences that match those in the microbe. When added to a dried drop of blood culture containing pathogens, sequences that find their match inside the microbe cling to the pathogens.  

These type of results will propel use of these technologies for FISH testing.  We expect competition to expand in this market as key companies like Abbott are joined by smaller concerns. 

The problem that better diagnostics can solve is not only the matter of treatment lag time and patient outcomes that one might expect - of course the patient is better served when the condition is correctly identified -but also the use of antibiotics.  In medical practice, a lag time means that more often than not, antibiotics will be prescribed, even in cases where test results might have eliminated that prescription

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Next Big IVD OP? Developing World

 Rapid tests that are easy-to-use and that can provide results in high-temperature and scarce water conditions may be the next big growth opportunity in in vitro diagnostics, according to a new report by Kalorama Information.  The healthcare market research publisher describes a quarter-billion market in the next five years for tests that can detect malaria and TB – but also rarer disease like leptospirosis and chikungunya in its new report, Point of Care Diagnostics for Emerging Infectious Disease Threats, co-authored by Kalorama diagnostic market analyst Shara Rosen and Diagnostic Consulting Network President Brendan O’Farrell.

Of the seven biggest killers worldwide, TB, malaria, hepatitis, and, in particular, HIV/AIDS continue to surge, with HIV/AIDS and TB likely to account for the overwhelming majority of deaths from infectious diseases in developing countries by 2020 and the response of the international community towards the problem has created a market.  The report cites a 13% growth rate for sales of tests that treat these the most pressing health needs.  This is greater than Kalorama forecasts for most areas of the point of care diagnostics market. 

“Now that neglected diseases have come onto the radar the supply of money to deal with it has increased,” said Shara Rosen.  “For the past 10-15 years politicians and aid agencies have come to understand that infectious diseases are not merely causes of suffering and death but are also significant barriers to economic development.”

Increased funding for infectious disease diagnostics by groups such as the Gates Foundation, the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH, Seattle, WA) and The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND, Geneva, Switzerland) is helping to develop a new generation of sophisticated test platforms that are designed to meet the needs of low resource environments (electricity, water, refrigeration, etc.).   These efforts may go a long way to improving the detection of pathogens that are found primarily in developing countries (malaria, Chagas, Dengue and others). 

“However, the same platforms are sorely needed everywhere,” according to Rosen. “There is a huge need for user-friendly, highly specific and reliable technologies for rural and underserved communities, worldwide, and that is where the opportunity is.”

While it is a growing market, it is not a market without competitors.  Kalorama’s market research finds that there are at least 75 vendors worldwide that market rapid test kits for emerging infectious diseases.  The current market leaders are companies that have invested in sophisticated new technologies and those that have established relationships with governments and international aid agencies .

More specific market categories as well as trends and detailed company information can be found in Kalorama Information’s Point of Care Diagnostics for Emerging Infectious Disease Threats.   The report is available from Kalorama Information at