EU-5 Ophthalmic Market to Grow More than 5 Percent through 2021

December 6, 2016: By Peter Downs

The ophthalmic market in the five largest economies of the European Union will reach $7.6 billion in 2021, according to the latest Market Scope forecast, despite competition between major producers and governmental pressures to reduce prices. The market stands at $5.9 billion in 2016.

The EU-5, consisting of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, accounts for the lion’s share of ophthalmic sales in the European Union, which is the second largest common market for eye care products in the world.

The EU-5 economies have returned to growth after stagnating after the Great Recession. While efforts to hold the line on health care spending will continue, the aged population that is most in need of ophthalmic services and products is the fastest growing population segment in these countries, and this segment will exert more pressure for increased spending for the preservation of sight.

These five European countries are part of a common market area operating under common rules, but their health care systems have their own rules and processes for determining what to include in the national basket of health care services and how much to pay for something. Market Scope’s new report on the EU-5 looks at those differences in depth.

National regulatory differences help account for why an off-label biologic might be used more to treat retinal disease in one country than another, or surgical procedures for dry eye disease might be more popular in one nation than in a neighboring one.

Additional trends shaping the market in EU-5 countries are the extent to which the working age and retired populations are growing or shrinking, income growth, and trends in health care spending. As with rates of overall population growth, these, too, vary by country.

Retinal disease is the largest disease market in EU-5 countries, and vision-threatening forms of retinal disease affect 8.6 million people in these countries. Competition and mandatory price cuts will press down on revenues until new products arrive to treat more diseases or improve the effectiveness of existing treatments.

Cataract surgery is the second largest ophthalmic market in the EU-5, with an estimated 3.2 million procedures. The increasing availability of multifocal intraocular lenses, as well as microstents for micro-incisional glaucoma surgery that can be performed at the same time as cataract surgery, is broadening the capability of cataract surgeons. They can effectively treat a wider range of ocular conditions at the time of cataract surgery, particularly presbyopia and glaucoma. Such new technologies have the potential to add new revenue streams to cataract surgeons’ practices.

Femtosecond lasers will continue to reshape both the cataract and refractive surgery markets. Although phacoemulsification will continue as the dominant method of cataract surgery throughout our forecast period, femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS) will be the method that grows the fastest.

In laser vision correction, femtosecond laser revenues moved ahead of excimer laser revenues and mechanical microkeratome revenues in 2016 and are expected to widen the gap every year through 2021.

Market Scope’s forecast also examines in depth the outlook for dry eye treatments, diagnostic equipment, surgical instruments, and single-use surgical devices.

Market Scope is pleased to announce the availability of the “2016 EU-5 Ophthalmic Market Report: An Analysis for 2015 to 2021.” Click the following link: “2016 EU-5 Ophthalmic Market Report: An Analysis for 2015 to 2021” or call (314) 835-0600 for more information.

Coming soon

2018 Ophthalmic Laser Report: A Global Market Analysis for 2017 to 2023 (Photocoagulation, Photodisruption, and SLT