WALTHAM, Mass., Oct. 7 Decision Resources, one of theworld's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical andhealthcare issues, forecasts that the Indian hepatitis C virus drug marketwill 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 inIndia, this growth will be fueled by increasing diagnosis and drug treatmentrates.
"Growth of India's hepatitis C drug market will be a direct result ofincreasing 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 ruralareas, where diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C are inadequate. Althoughwe anticipate some improvement by 2012, this population will likely remain anuntapped opportunity for growth."
Additionally, the report finds that the number of prevalent cases ofchronic hepatitis C virus in India (8.5 million in 2007) is greater than thatof the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and Japancombined. However, both diagnosis rates and drug treatment rates in India areextremely low, resulting in a virtually untapped antiviral market for thedisease.
"Because the general public in India is poorly informed about thehepatitis C virus, few people who unknowingly have the disease understand therisk factors enough to realize they should be tested for the disease. Thosewho do get tested often cannot afford treatment," added Dr. Lebbos.
The report also finds that familiarity with drug treatment options forhepatitis C varies by region and clinical experience. Clinicians surveyed inDelhi, Jaipur and Lucknow are generally less familiar with hepatitis Ctherapeutics than are their colleagues in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. Notsurprisingly, gastroenterologists are typically more familiar than generalpractitioners with the appropriate therapies for the disease.
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