The Diabetes Market

The diabetes market, which includes both pharmaceuticals and medical devices, is large and is growing steadily for four main reasons. First, the prevalence of diabetes is increasing, particularly that of type 2 in developed countries and those with increasing prosperity. Type 1 diabetes is also increasing, though less dramatically. Second, type 2 diabetes is responsive to drug therapy, and there is a continuing search for newer, better pharmacological agents. Third, insulin, required for all cases of type 1 and some of type 2 diabetes, poses administration problems, offering opportunities for new delivery systems. Fourth, patients with diabetes must monitor their condition by frequently checking the level of glucose in their blood, and there are ongoing attempts to make this process easier, less painful and generally more user-friendly by developing more advanced devices (which are also more expensive).

A fifth driving factor in the diabetes marketplace is the search for a fundamentally better way to manage the disease. Some options are mainly surgical; one example comprises pancreatic cell transplants. Another focus of diabetes research is to combine glucose monitoring with insulin administration in a self-controlled wearable device. Further in the future are prospects for using stem cells to grow new beta cells, and for using genetic knockout techniques to block the metabolic processes that cause diabetes.

Diabetes Market Segments

The diabetes market includes both pharmaceutical and medical device elements. The pharmaceutical aspect is further divided between insulin and oral antidiabetic drugs. The device segment is comprised of instruments for diagnosis and monitoring with their attendant consumables, and a range of devices for administering insulin. Some of these devices contain prepackaged insulin, so that they may be regarded as both medical devices and pharmaceuticals. The leading segments in the market for diabetes products are: insulin, blood glucose meters and related supplies (i.e., lancets, test strips), insulin pumps, insulin delivery devices (e.g., syringes, pens), and antidiabetes drugs.

Worldwide Diabetes Products Market, 2010

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #D510


Toward an Artificial Pancreas

The development of stem cell or other cell-based treatment of diabetes, with its potential to restore normal glycemic control in diabetes, is the most important focus of companies with long-term vision in the field of diabetes management. However, in the short-term, the most significant area of development is toward the creation of an “artificial pancreas” — a closed-loop system that provides self-regulated control of blood glucose through continuous blood glucose monitoring and automated insulin infusion.

Although no “closed-loop” system is currently on the market, regulatory approval may feasibly occur within the next year or two. Currently, Medtronic’s Paradigm REAL-Time offers an integrated CGM/pump system, but the insulin infusion rate is patient and/or physician-controlled rather than driven by algorithms or other programming based on the CGM data.

Below are exhibits containing the major insulin pump systems and the continuous blood glucose systems suppliers and developers. 

Suppliers and Developers of Insulin Pump Systems


Clinical/Technology Focus#Companies
Blood, organ, tissue68
Cardio diagnostics44
Cardio therapeutics233
Critical care, patient monitoring14
Dental/oral surgery7
Drug delivery57
Drug discovery15
Diagnostic imaging56
Interventional radiology, vascular surgery108
Minimally invasive176
Neurology, neurosurgery69
Patient monitoring38
Stem cell33
Tissue engineering28
Wound care80

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #D510


Suppliers and Developers of Continuous Blood Glucose Monitors

Epidermal growth factor (EGF)Activated macrophages. Salivary glands. KeratinocytesKeratinocyte and fibroblast mitogen. Keratinocyte migration. Granulation tissue formation
Transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?)Activated macrophages. T-lymphocytes. KeratinocytesHepatocyte and epithelial cell proliferation. Expression of antimicrobial peptides. Expression of chemotactic cytokines
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)Mesenchymal cellsEpithelial and endothelial cell proliferation. Hepatocyte motility
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)Mesenchymal cellsVascular permeability. Endothelial cell proliferation
Platelet derived growth factor (PDGF)Platelets. Macrophages. Endothelial cells. Smooth muscle cells. KeratinocytesGranulocyte, macrophage, fibroblast and smooth muscle cell chemotaxis. Granulocyte, macrophage and fibroblast activation. Fibroblast, endothelial cell and smooth muscle cell proliferation. Matrix metalloproteinase, fibronectin and hyaluronan production. Angiogenesis. Wound remodeling. Integrin expression regulation
Fibroblast growth factor 1 and 2 (FGF-1, FGF2)Macrophages. Mast cells. T-lymphocytes. Endothelial cells. FibroblastsFibroblast chemotaxis. Fibroblast and keratinocyte proliferation. Keratinocyte migration. Angiogenesis. Wound contraction. Matrix (collagen fibers) deposition
Transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?)Platelets. T-lymphocytes. Macrophages. Endothelial cells. Keratinocytes. Smooth muscle cells. FibroblastsGranulocyte, macrophage, lymphocyte, fibroblast and smooth muscle cell chemotaxis. TIMP synthesis. Angiogenesis. Fibroplasia. Matrix metalloproteinase production inhibition. Keratinocyte proliferation
Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF)KeratinocytesKeratinocyte migration, proliferation and differentiation

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #D510

From Report #D510, “Products, Technologies, Markets and Opportunities in Diabetes Management Worldwide, 2009-2018”, July 2010. See

1 thought on “The Diabetes Market”

  1. You’re absolutely right! The costs are insane, and the number of people is growing so fast. We have to find a way to get out from behind the TVS (and computers) and exercise.