News | June 30, 2008

Sterilization, Disinfectant Market in Europe Stagnant

July 1, 2008 -The sterilization and disinfectant market in Europe is mature and saturated, offering little scope for technological innovation, and the complete lack of product differentiation is hampering competition, according to a new market analysis by Frost & Sullivan.

The report, “European Sterilization and Disinfection Equipment Market,” states the markets witnessing slow growth as hospitals try to tackle alarmingly high infection rates resulting from inadequately decontaminated patient care equipment. But while the disinfection market has shown potential for expansion, the sterilization market remains largely static.

The report found the market earned revenues of more than $269 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach $352 million by 2014.

The spurt in the number of surgical procedures utilizing minimally invasive instruments such as endoscopes is also driving the need for sophisticated systems for proper disinfection and maintenance of such equipment. This demand for more efficient disinfecting methods is fuelling the growth of the automatic endoscope reprocessor (AER) segment. The washers and AER disinfection markets are exhibiting continuous growth due to advancements in surgical instrumentation and liquid chemical disinfectants as well.

However, emerging trends indicate increasing consolidation and centralization of hospitals in Europe, drastically reducing the number of hospitals and the number of potential customers. End-user consolidation is a challenge for this market, as purchasing power is augmented.

“High prices along with slow rate of product replacement will force manufacturers to identify different revenue streams in order to maintain and increase their profit margins,” said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Kieu A. Vuong. “Despite several attempts at creating a unified platform, insecurities concerning the standardization and regulation of products continue.”

Nonetheless, participants can accrue revenues by providing integrated service packages and proper nurturing of customer relationships, since virtually all hospitals are already equipped with infection control equipment. To achieve the high standards required for service packages, many companies have entered into partnerships to reduce costs and enhance their offering.

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