The medical gases market was estimated to reach USD 7.5 billion in 2015. Medical gases are termed as medicinal products and the related equipment as medical devices; and these are widely used in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. They are frequently used by healthcare professionals for diagnostic and treatment purposes. In addition, it has a wide range of applications in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, such as drug discovery and development, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and cell culture studies. All medicinal products and medical devices are subject to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration, European directives, and UK legislation.
Global medical gases market, by region, 2013 - 2024 (USD Million)
The high prevalence of respiratory and chronic diseases is identified as a key factor driving the growth of the industry. Moreover, the rising pollution levels, soaring elderly population, and the increasing demand for home healthcare & point of care products are expected to accelerate the market growth in the near future. However, along with the stringent government rules and regulations, the shortage of helium, which is employed to maintain equipment parts at low temperatures such as in MRI scanners, is expected to hinder the sector growth over the forecast period.
The medical pure gas segment dominated the medical gases product market in terms of revenue, in 2015. The segment’s large share is attributed to the presence of a large patient base suffering from respiratory disorders and a surge in the patient count undergoing emergency treatment. High prevalence of chronic diseases is a high impact-rendering driver of this market. According to the WHO, in 2012, chronic diseases including chronic respiratory diseases, heart disorders, stroke, cancer, and diabetes were responsible for 38 million deaths (around 68% of the total deaths worldwide).
In the medical gas equipment segment, vacuum systems dominated the overall market in terms of revenue share in 2015. The relatively high prices of these products and their high market penetration rates are the major factors contributing to the large share. The demand for this product is expected to remain high during the forecast period owing to the increasing aging population worldwide. Old age heightens the need for healthcare as these individuals are more susceptible to diseases related to the respiratory system, which in turn triggers high patient hospitalization rates. Statistics suggest that 55% – 60% of the patients that are admitted in hospitals are administered with medical gases.
Medical gases have a broad range of applications in various areas including therapeutics and diagnostics. The therapeutics segment contributes to the highest revenue share in this sector in varied areas such as respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, anesthesia, and cryosurgery. The predominant risk factor responsible for the notable occurrence of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in humans is the adoption of unhealthy lifestyle habits including damaging diets, followed by the use of tobacco, obesity, and sedentary lifestyles. Also, the increasing air pollution leads to the high incidence of respiratory diseases. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, in 2014, the chronic lower respiratory disease alone caused 147,101 deaths in the U.S.
North America is estimated to dominate this market. As of 2015, the U.S. represents the largest market, followed by Germany. The growing geriatric population base and the rising prevalence of chronic diseases are expected to propel the sector growth in the U.S.
The Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region during the forecast period, which is attributable to the presence of populous countries including India and China. The growing incidence of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in these regions is further estimated to accelerate the market growth in the near future.
The major players leading the sector are Air Liquide, The Linde Group, Praxair, Inc., Airgas, Inc., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., BeaconMedaes, Medical Gas Solutions Ltd., and Matheson Tri-Gas, among others. Inorganic growth initiatives, such as mergers and acquisitions, are estimated to be adopted by majority of the key players. This aids the companies in strengthening their global presence for long-term growth in this sector. For instance, in May 2016, Air Liquide completed the acquisition of Airgas, which was a major supplier of industrial gases and associated products in the U.S. This acquisition is expected to strengthen Air Liquide’s global leadership in the gas industry.
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