Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, forecasts that the Indian hepatitis C virus drug market will grow from $21.6 million in 2007 to more than $171 million by 2012. According to the new Emerging Markets report entitled Hepatitis C Virus in India, this growth will be fueled by increasing diagnosis and drug treatment rates.
"Growth of India's hepatitis C drug market will be a direct result of increasing diagnosis and treatment rates in urban areas," said John Lebbos, M.D., Vice President of Infectious Diseases at Decision Resources. "However, the majority of the hepatitis C virus prevalent population resides in rural areas, where diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C are inadequate. Although we anticipate some improvement by 2012, this population will likely remain an untapped opportunity for growth."
Additionally, the report finds that the number of prevalent cases of chronic hepatitis C virus in India (8.5 million in 2007) is greater than that of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and Japan combined. However, both diagnosis rates and drug treatment rates in India are extremely low, resulting in a virtually untapped antiviral market for the disease.
"Because the general public in India is poorly informed about the hepatitis C virus, few people who unknowingly have the disease understand the risk factors enough to realize they should be tested for the disease. Those who do get tested often cannot afford treatment," added Dr. Lebbos.
The report also finds that familiarity with drug treatment options for hepatitis C varies by region and clinical experience. Clinicians surveyed in Delhi, Jaipur and Lucknow are generally less familiar with hepatitis C therapeutics than are their colleagues in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. Not surprisingly, gastroenterologists are typically more familiar than general practitioners with the appropriate therapies for the disease.
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