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New Hepatitis C Drugs Fuel Demand for Molecular IVD Products

ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Hepatitis C is a robustly growing market for both IVD and pharmaceutical players in the developed world. Hepatitis C pharmaceutical growth is hedged by pricing pressures as new players seek to undercut the market leader Gilead Sciences. Newer antivirals introduced first by Gilead in 2014 can cure even acute hepatitis C infections in many cases. The leading market barrier has been the price of therapy, but price cutting is expected eventually in order to maximize market penetration and as a result of competitive pressures. Antiviral treatment regimens are continued or concluded based on repeated testing of patient HCV levels or viral load.  Kalorama covered HCV testing markets along with a wide range of molecular diagnostic applications in its report, The World Market for Molecular Diagnostics, 7th EditionFind the report at:

"The combination of Medicare eligibility for hepatitis C patients, higher screening activity and effective therapies has grown HCV viral load test volumes in the United States," said Emil Salazar, analyst for Kalorama Information in a recent blog post

Kalorama Information Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Kalorama Information) (PRNewsFoto/Kalorama Information)
Kalorama Information Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Kalorama Information) (PRNewsFoto/Kalorama Information)

The introduction of new, more effective therapies has coincided with rising hepatitis C patient volumes in U.S. healthcare. Hepatitis C is more prevalent among older U.S. individuals, particularly those of the "baby boomer" generation (born 1945-1965), than younger generations. According to one estimate from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), HCV can be found in between 3% and 5% of all U.S. individuals born in the 1950s. For comparison, HCV prevalence for individuals born in the 1940s and 1960s averaged roughly 2%. The higher rate of hepatitis C infection among baby boomers is believed to be a result of blood transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs) and past intravenous drug use. Hepatitis screening of older patients has been implemented in much of U.S. healthcare to catch asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic cases.

Kalorama said the volume of viral load tests for hepatitis C accepted for payment under Medicare Part B rose from approximately 65,000 procedures in 2010 to nearly 190,000 procedures in 2015. Kalorama Information projects the number of HCV-infected U.S. individuals newly eligible for Medicare (aged 65 during the year) will increase from over 90,000 in 2015 to more than 170,000 in 2020. Medicare coverage of hepatitis C therapies has improved in the past several years, and some private insurers are also likely to follow suit for older patients more at risk of complications from disease progression.

Kalorama details more information in its blog piece on Hepatitis C testing.

About Kalorama Information
Kalorama Information, a division of, supplies the latest in independent medical market research in diagnostics, biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare; as well as a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased through Kalorama's website and are also available on and  

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