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Surge in products to diagnose and treat STD.

U.S. sales of products to diagnose or treat sexually transmitted diseases are expected to reach $777.1 million in 1988, up 39.6 per cent from last year and 97.5 per cent from 1986, according to Frost & Sullivan. The international market research firm sees the market expanding to $1.1 billion by 1990 and-largely because of new AIDS therapies in the 1990s-to nearly $4 billion by the year 1993.

Most of the predicted acceleration will come from new products in the therapeutic area. Such products will make up 61 per cent of 1988 sales; diagnostic products, 39 per cent (see Figure 1). By 1993, however, therapeutic products will account for 89 per cent of sales in the STD market.

While that would leave diagnostic products with only 11 per cent of the market, note that the market will be much larger in five years. And Frost & Sullivan points out that important new technologies are emerging in diagnostic medicine.

DNA probes are cited as an example, including one test that detects all types of gonorrhea and is reportedly 100 per cent accurate. Total DNA-probe sales for infectious diseases are expected to climb from $15 million this year to $267 million by 1993. Sexually transmitted disease products will make up 20 to 35 per cent of this total.

In a 466-page study, "Diagnostic and Therapeutic Products Associated with Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the U.S.," Frost & Sullivan estimates the 1988 AIDS diagnostic products market at $95 million, up from $50 million two years ago. This is the largest market segment among sexually transmitted diseases. Hepatitis B testing ranks a close second at $92.9 million, followed by testing for gonorrhea at $38.3 million; Chlamydia, $35.4 million; syphilis, $14.3 million; herpes, $12 million; and cytomegalovirus, $8.3 million.

By 1993, the study projects that hepatitis B testing will take the lead with product sales totaling $118.8 million, followed by AIDS, $95 million (the same as this year's sales); Chlamydia, $69.1 million; gonoffhea, $52.5 million; herpes, $19.2 million; syphilis, $17.7 million; nongonococcal urethritis, $16.9 million; cytomegalovirus, $14.5 million; and Epstein-Barr virus, $10.4 million.

Frost & Sullivan points out that diagnostic and therapeutic products are, at present, two distinctly different industries with different market dynamics. They also involve different clusters of manufacturers, but that is likely to change. As the study observes in analyzing competitive strategies, several companies are well aware of the long-term advantages in being able to offer both testing and therapy for a sexually transmitted disease.
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Title Annotation:sexually transmitted diseases
Author:Fitzgibbon, Robert J.
Publication:Medical Laboratory Observer
Article Type:editorial
Date:Oct 1, 1988
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