Differences in clinical practice patterns, regulatory climate, reimbursement, patient demographics, distribution systems and a host of other variables can create clear differences in markets for medical technologies. While general rules of thumb are sometimes applied in analyzing international markets, they are a poor substitute to actual, hard data on what those differences are in specific markets.
While bare metal stents represented the first generation of coronary stents and have been followed by the more clinically successful drug-eluting stents, it has been the dynamic that clinicians who have first used bare metal stents have had to be convinced that drug-eluting stents offered the necessary marginal benefit-to-cost to warrant the switch. This consideration, in addition to differences in regulatory climate, reimbursement and other local market variables, has a net result that has yielded a more rapid adoption of drug-eluting stents in the Asia/Pacific market than in any other geographic area. The primary underlying data in this is, in particular, the sales of drug-eluting stents in China.
A caveat, though, lest one make too quick an assumption. Although China represents a huge potential market, the Asia/Pacific market is more typically dominated by sales in the free market economies of Japan, South Korea, Australia and India. However, China’s nascent medical technology market is large enough in this case that its ready adoption of drug-eluting stents has a measurable impact on the relative share of drug-eluting stent sales versus bare metal stents sales in the region.
Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #C245, "Worldwide Drug-Eluting, Bare Metal and Other Coronary Stents, 2008-2017."