Woundcare market spins silver into gold
An aging population, soaring rates of diabetes and obesity, and new wound care therapies will push growth in the skin-ulcer market over the next four years, reaching $6.2 billion by 2011, says a study published in August by Kalorama Information. The study's author, Mary Anne Crandall, is a nurse with a decade of wound care experience. HME News spoke with her recently to get her take on what's driving growth.
HME News: What are some of the hot products in the wound care market today?
Mary Anne Crandall: There's always been alginates, hydrocolloids, hydrogels, foams and films, but probably the ones I see that have really blossomed have been the dressings that have silver. Silver has antimicrobial properties, and, as a result, it seems to speed healing of wounds. Companies are working a lot with silver dressing, incorporating them into basically all of the other dressings. I have even seen a bed with silver impregnated in it.
HME: How is the negative pressure wound therapy market growing? Crandall: It's still pretty small but it's growing really fast. We're looking at 20.7% growth this year. In 2003, negative pressure was just beginning to be an issue and now there are several products. It's new and any time there's a new product out there it takes a while to get reimbursement, and people are reluctant to jump on board until it gets more established.
HME: Will we continue to see new and better products hit the market? Crandall: We're going to have to. At present, there is nothing out there that works 100%. There are some products that do a good job here, and some products that do a good job there. But nothing is really that miracle product. Some of the new stuff that's coming down the pipeline is interesting: honey-based dressings, gene therapy, nanotechnology, biological dressings.