The market for the self-monitoring of blood glucose is worth billions of dollars and is a lucrative market, despite the fact that the industry is facing declining prices and slower growth. Given the fact that blood sugar test strips are seen as generic products by consumers and insurers, without introducing any innovative technology, it would be extremely difficult for the new entrants in the self-monitoring of blood glucose market to entrench themselves. In addition, the prices of the blood sugar testing strips are declining, market growth can only occur by convincing the existing patient base to test themselves more frequently and to identify more of the undisclosed diabetes suffering patient pool. United States is the largest market for the self-monitoring of blood glucose and other regions of the world are fast catching up. There has been an exponential growth in the market for blood sugar strips and they have now become more affordable to the general public and their cost is generally reimbursed in the health insurance policies.
The main market driver for blood sugar test strips is the growing epidemic of diabetes the world over. As per the figures provided by the World Health Organisation, the population of the world suffering from diabetes in the year 2000 was 171 million which is going to rise to 366 million in the year 2030. Coupled with this, the growing scourge of obesity in the world, especially in the United States, and the increasing number of geriatric population is also fuelling the population of people suffering from diabetes. Moreover, with the increasing affluence in the developing and major economies of China and India, where incomes are rising, the market for blood sugar test strips is growing at a faster rate. A rising population in these economies combined with an increased impetus on the healthcare is going to give a boost to the blood sugar test strips market in these developing economies.
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Increasing awareness about diabetes in the world is also giving a fillip to the worldwide blood sugar test strips market. While still people are not self-testing their blood glucose levels as per the recommended limits set by various medical organisations, the awareness to test and avail protection against diabetes is rising the world over, giving a boost to the worldwide blood sugar test strips market. In addition, advances in the self-monitoring of blood glucose testing technologies have made it easier for individuals to test themselves for diabetes and monitor their blood glucose levels. These advancement in technology and the ease of testing has also given a boost to the blood sugar test strips market. In this context, advances in software, that allow medical professionals to directly download patient data from blood glucose monitors has also paved the way of increasing the use of such devices, thereby increasing the market for blood sugar testing strips.
However, there are various factors that are acting as a restraint to the worldwide blood sugar test strips market. One of the major factor is the falling prices of blood sugar test strips due to intense competition and the overabundance of market players in this field. Also, besides United States, there are certain countries where blood sugar test strips are available at half the prices than those available in United States, and this is creating an intense price pressure on the vendors of blood sugar test strips all over the world. There is a general unwillingness from the patients suffering from diabetes to pay more out of their pocket for the treatment of diabetes, thereby the frequency of self-testing of blood glucose levels is becoming less and less among such pool of patients.
Companies that dominate the blood sugar test strips market include F.Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Abbott Laboratories, LifeScan, Inc., and Bayer Healthcare AG.
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