Friday, April 20, 2012

Revenues And Profits, There is a Difference

Healthcare markets are big.  Billion-dollar market sizes are not uncommon for markets that cater to millions.  Those large numbers can confuse those outside the industry, especially those who are critical of the industry.  

As the leading estimator of the market for vaccines, some of the heaviest traffic we get is from those who do not agree with the progress of the vaccine market in recent years, the anti-vaccine community. We are happy to be cited in these blogs, and we note that as business information experts we have reviewed at different times nutraceuticals, wellness programs and holistic businesses these websites might favor.

I cite one article here:
"According to market research firm Kalorama Information, vaccine sales should double, from $19 billion in 2009 to $39 billion in 2013 – five times the $8 billion in vaccine sales in 2004......soon we’ll be asked to roll up our sleeves for vaccines thought to prevent, “Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS, pandemic flu, genital herpes, malaria, tuberculosis, urinary tract infections, grass allergies, traveler’s diarrhea, addiction and relapse – you name it, the pharmaceutical industry is working on a vaccine to supposedly prevent it."

That is an accurate quote of our report. Now we'll stay out of debate of personal decisions to accept a vaccine or not. I'll leave it to these websites to argue the merits of vaccination or whether parents should decide to vaccinate. Though we are experts in healthcare business opportunities, science and personal liberty are best for others to argue.

In most of these articles, revenues and profit are confused. An article will say 'Look at the profit the vaccine industry is making' and then cite our revenue number.   But revenues are very different from profits.  It is not uncommon for a company to make big revenues but lose money in the process.

Kalorama estimates revenue rather than profit generally, as revenue can broadly define the opportunity for an entire industry, where as profit is better left to analysts tracking individual companies about how well they are performing.

Profits are somewhat smaller in vaccines, though there are less marketing costs than in traditional sales. CSL Biotherapies, a good model as they are mostly a vaccine company. They made 4.1 billion in 2011 but most of that money went to materials, facilities or employees. Only 21% or revenues went to profit.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Increasingly, Healthcare Takes to Handheld Use

Kalorama finds in 2011 that hospitals got used to handheld technology in their daily workflow. Several factors are driving the growth of this market including a growing and aging population, shortage of qualified medical professionals, cost restraints, medical error reduction measures, government incentives, expanding capabilities of devices, off-site medical care and more.

Barriers in adopting new technologies include: access, cost, suspicion of its effectiveness, and a lack of confidence from new operators. However, record numbers of the general public are buying new handheld technologies from developers such as Samsung, HTC, and Apple. Buyers are purchasing smartphones and tablets for their own personal use, which provides a basis for implementing related technology in a work setting, such as a hospital. Not only are hospital personnel becoming more confident with new devices, more than half of hospital staff already have devices that can operate FDA-approved and HIPPA-compliant software.

One healthcare group, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) reported in February 2012 that it would be continuing to invest in AirStrip Technologies, a mobile healthcare access provider. Airstrip offers physicians the technology to access real-time patient data on mobile devices, including the iPhone and Android devices.

As a whole, the healthcare industry is facing intense pressure to improve quality, control costs, and meet ever-changing government requirements. To meet these challenges, many health facilities are focusing on improving their workflow and restructuring their information system infrastructure. This Kalorama report takes a closer look at this growing opportunity and emerging technologies developed to meet new demands.

The newly updated report, Handhelds in Healthcare, addresses the growing market for handheld device markets in healthcare settings. For information or to order this report, please see

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fastest-Growing Area of Anesthesia Might Be: Drugs That Keep You Awake

Yes, its counter-intuitive, but the hottest sales area of the anesthesia drug market are for adjunctive therapies that assist the anesthesia process in some form. And anesthetic reversal agents is one category of complementary drugs.

Drugs that relax a patient’s muscles, relieve anxiety or wake patients up after surgery are growing faster in terms of revenues than the anesthetics themselves, according to the healthcare market research publisher.

The market for all anesthesia drugs including adjunctive drugs reached 5.3 billion according to Kalorama Information’s report, The World Anesthesia Drug Market (General, Local, Adjunctive), with fastest growth coming from the adjunctive category.

Adjunctive therapies include muscle relaxers such as Tracrium or Tubarine, Drugs that relieve anxiety prior to anesthesia such as Atropine or Diazepam have become a growing category. Drugs that can reverse anesthesia, reduce the effect of opioids and wake a patient, such as Flumazenil or Naloxone, have also seen intense competition and sales. Sales growth of these type of drugs will more than double growth of the overall anesthesia drug market, according to Kalorama Information’s report.

Companies such as Merck, Baxter, Roche, Abbott are among the competitors in this market. Competitive leadership in both the brand and generic markets will greatly depend on technology advancements and new formulations and delivery methods. The report finds that many products are currently reliant on the increasing number of surgical and diagnostic procedures worldwide of which will likely continue due to a growing population.

More detail on this market and specific numbers for drug categories are provided in Kalorama Information’s complete market research report on the topic. Important issues and trends are discussed in detail and companies are profiled in the report.