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Frost & Sullivan: Where Will Laboratory Budgets be Allocated?

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Sept. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Slow growth in laboratory spending can be explained consistently by budget cuts; however, the reasons for these cuts are varied. In a Frost & Sullivan survey of laboratory decision makers, respondents cite the general recession, reductions in state or city funding, fewer federal grants, and consolidation due to corporate mergers and takeovers as reasons for their weak spending power. 

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan's ( Global Laboratory Product Purchasing Trends research finds that the average total budget among surveyed laboratories was $313,500 in 2010.  This figure declined slightly to $313,200 in 2011. The outlook for 2012 is not terribly positive, as survey respondents expect only a modest increase of roughly 1 percent to $316,000.  This analysis is derived from a survey of laboratory leadership from academic, biopharmaceutical, industrial, patient care, and government laboratories. Most respondents were located in the U.S., although participation in the survey was open to respondents globally. 

If you are interested in more information on this research, please send an email to Britni Myers, Corporate Communications, at, with your full name, company name, job title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country.

"In addition to managing the day-to-day operations and challenges of their laboratories, laboratory managers are now confronted with an increasingly volatile budgeting process," said Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Jonathan Witonsky.  "When compared to the early part of the last decade, which was shaped by dependable and steady growth, the past three years are easily characterized as uncertain — and, at times, tumultuous — due to numerous market swings."

On average, academic laboratories reported spending $272,000 on laboratory products in 2011.  The corresponding figures for other laboratory types include $250,000 for biopharmaceutical; $123,000 for industrial; $861,000 for patient care; and $1,098,000 for government. 

The majority of laboratory spending, more than 60 percent, is on consumables: chemicals, life science reagents and kits, glassware, plasticware, and general laboratory supplies. Investment in these products is expected to remain stable — as much as 19 percent of budgets will be allocated to the purchase of general laboratory supplies, 16 percent to the purchase of chemicals, 16 percent to the purchase of life science reagents and kits, 6 percent to the purchase of plasticware, and 5 percent to the purchase of glassware.

Instruments and equipment make up about 40 percent of spending. Up to 27 percent of a budget is allocated to the purchase of instruments, and 13 percent is allocated to the purchase of equipment. Instruments are the single largest expense of laboratories, with the average instrument budget totaling more than $82,000 in 2011. Laboratories plan to boost spending on instrumentation by roughly 5 percent in 2012, raising the average instrument expenditure to $86,500.

"The economic stimulus package and a relaxation of purchasing freezes in late 2009 and early 2010 seemed to indicate a return to normalcy," said Witonsky. "Nevertheless, there are signs that annual increases in R&D spending will not return to historical levels of 5 to 10 percent — at least not any time soon."

Global Laboratory Product Purchasing Trends is part of the Life Sciences Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Analysis of the U.S. Clinical Laboratory Market; World Process Analytical Instrumentation Markets; Purchasing Trends in the Research Antibodies Market; and End-user Trends in the U.S. Next-Generation Sequencing Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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Global Laboratory Product Purchasing Trends

Britni Myers
Corporate Communications – North America
P: 210.477.8481
F: 210.348.1003

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