Wound management technologies, worldwide growth

The global wound care market is expected to always be represented by sizeable share of basic products in wound dressings and bandages, which for the majority of wound types have clearly proven to be cost effective in producing acceptable time-to-healing and other clinical outcomes. However, advanced wound products to address complex wound types – many of which may simply evolve from otherwise simple wounds that have been neglected – are increasingly demonstrating their potential for accelerating the pace and therefore reducing the cost of wound healing.

But factors other than cost-consciousness are driving the advanced wound care market. Patients’ desire for less scarring, as well as an increased awareness of infection issues, drive the development of advanced dressings and biomaterials that reduce bacteria and heal wounds faster. An aging world population and lifestyle changes that contribute to disease frequency also factor into the market’s continued growth.

Still, there are some market restraints, primarily the high cost of new technologies, which therefore must demonstrate better outcomes and/or lower long-term costs. Development of substitute products threatens existing product categories, while a lack of sufficient clinical and economic evidence backing new technology hinders growth and acceptance of some more advanced wound management technologies. Improved wound prevention and a lack of regulation on tissue engineering in the EU are also expected to withhold the development of new technologies.

A high number of manufacturers competing for market share have also driven down prices. In 2009, the top wound care companies included Johnson and Johnson, Kinetic Concepts Inc. (KCI), Hill-Rom and Smith & Nephew. These four companies were responsible for 60 percent of total market revenue in 2009. However, mergers, acquisitions and sales of intellectual property can rapidly change the market share picture. In June 2009, Hill-Rom sold its intellectual property relating to negative pressure wound therapy to KCI. By end 2012, about 56% of the wound care market was held by Johnson and Johnson, 3M, Smith & Nephew, and Systagenix.

Below is illustrated the global market for traditional and advanced products in wound management, with the compound growth rate in sales of individual product types ranging from a low of under 3% to a high of 19% through the forecast period (i.e., to 2021).


Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S249, “Wound Management, Worldwide Market and Forecast to 2021:  Established and Emerging Products, Technologies and Markets in the Americas, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Rest of World”.

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