Nuclear medicines are the the drugs containing radioactive material (radionuclide-emmitting ionizing radiations)for the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. Radiopharmaceuticals targets the organ or specific site and emits the gamma radiations which are captured by external gamma cameras. However, dose of radiations is kept low to avoid the side effects. These radiopharmaceuticals are administered inside the body by different routes of administration such as oral, inhalation or injection depending on the drug and targeted organ. Radiopharmaceuticals posses the ability to diagnose the blood flow of brain cells, heart pumping rate and working mechanism of kidney cells. Radiopharmaceuticals also enables the detection of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer location, tiny bone fractures, and functioning of transplanted organ.
Global market of nuclear medicine/ radiopharmaceuticals can be segmented based on the product type, and applications. Product type might be further classified into diagnostic and therapeutics products. Diagnostics products market could be further analyzed based on SPECT and PET isotopes. Whereas, therapeutics market is divided into alpha emitters, beta emmiters, and brachytherapy. According to the World Nuclear Association (WNA) more than 10,000 hospitals utilized radioisotopes in medicinesin 2012 and of total radioisotopes consumption 80% was used for diagnostics purpose. In 2014, diagnostics segment accounted for the largest share of radiopharaceuticals market.
Furthermore, in diagnostics segment SPECT captured the largest share of radiopharmaceuticals market. Based on application types, global radiopharmaceuticals market can be segmented into cardiology, neurology, oncology, thyroid, bone metastasis, and endocrine tumors. In the application section of the marketin 2014, cardiology accounted largest share of the nuclear medicine market. Geographically, radiopharmaceuticals market could be analysed based on North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Rest of the World. In the past, the market was dominated by North America followed by Asia-Pacific region and Europe. North America dominated the market in 2014 due to increasing incidence of cardiac ailments and cancer, rising awareness about benefits of radiopharmaceuticals, and easy access of radiopharmaceuticals.
According to the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM), approximately 5,000 nuclear medicine centers are present in the U.S. and collectively more than 18 million procedure are performed within the centers every year. Asia Pacific is anticipated to grow at a highest growth rate during the forecast period. In the global market most commonly used radiopharmaceuticals include Technetium-99m, Thallium 201, Iodine-123, Fluorine-18, and Rubidium-82. Technetium-99m accounted for the largest market share due to accurate detection ability and short half-life. Short half-life is responsible for fast clearing of radiopharmaceuticals from the body.
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Increasing incidence of Alzhimer’s, Parkinson, dementia, cancer, and cardiac failure fuel the growth of radiopharmaceuticals market. Additionally, high demand from the emerging countries due to non-invasiveness procedure, increasing awareness, presence of potential radioisotopes in the pipeline, and advances in radiotracers are the driving factors for the market. Moreover, stringent regulatory guidelines, shorter half life of radiopharmaceuticals, and reimbursement issues are the key restraints of the industry. Radiation therapy is painless and no or minimal side effects. However, higher doses can cause variable side effects. The main side effects includes fatigue, skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, and infertility as gonads are sensitive to radiations.
Some of the major players in the global radiopharmaceuticals market include Cardinal Health, Inc., GE Healthcare, Eczacibasi-Monrol Nuclear Products, Bayer Healthcare AG, IBA Molecular Imaging, Mallinckrodt plc., and Sigma Aldrich Corporation. Other companies in radiopharmaceuticals / nuclear medicine market includes Medtronic plc, Nordien, Inc., Jubilant Pharma, and Siemens Healthcare.
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