Broad-Based Growth Evident in Latin American IVD Market

Broad-Based Growth Evident in Latin American IVD Market

Brazil figures heavily into IVD strategies for the Latin American continent with a population of over 200 million people and industry to support globally distributed supply operations. However, the country’s regional economic clout does not necessarily ensure its status as a leading target expansion market for IVD companies. According to Kalorama Information’s latest projections for the Latin American IVD market, the less competitive IVD markets of Chile, Colombia and Peru are expected to grow by faster rates through 2019 while outpacing growth for the Latin American IVD market as a whole.

Macroeconomic forces have quickly altered the landscape of healthcare markets in Latin America. Slackened economic growth has negated previously explosive prospects for the Brazilian market. At the same time, reform and economic investment have increased health spending in peripheral countries. The second most populous South American country, Colombia, is emblematic of the emerging opportunities in Latin America for the global IVD industry. Colombia is sufficiently urbanized at roughly 75% of the total population to support effective distribution and access to patient populations. With economic diversification and newfound wealth, Colombia has begun to improve its near-universal healthcare system established with the 1991 constitution. Consumption expenditure growth has roughly matched recent GDP growth at 4-7% annually. The country also boasts a surprisingly high number of clinical laboratories at 4,500. Colombia is distinguished by its high rate of health insurance coverage and accessibility to global trade (in terms of both trade agreements and logistics).

Peru is in a period of marked economic improvement with the IMF designating the country a leading Latin American economy and destination for investment. Recent sustained economic growth has been possible through the inauguration of political stability in the beginning of the century. Despite an invigorated economy, Peru still suffers from widespread poverty among anywhere from 30% to 50% of the national population of 30 million.  While healthcare coverage has improved in the country, the Peruvian system depends on private expenditures - largely out-of-pocket - for approximately two thirds of total healthcare spending. Peru has approximately 1,300 clinical labs. While featuring a less developed healthcare system, Peru has seen significant growth in healthcare demand over the past decade and is projected to lead all Latin American countries in IVD market growth through 2019.

The current Chilean administration has sought to address the country’s relatively high income inequality among developed (OECD) countries by implementing welfare programs and improving its Universal Access with Explicit Guarantees (AUGE or GES) program. Nearly universal healthcare coverage is provided to Chileans through both a public insurer (FONASA) covering 75% of the population and group of regulated, private insurers. FONASA guarantees coverage for a list of specific health issues; additional, heavily subsidized care was recently made available to the elderly. Despite moves made to improve the effectiveness of public care following its privatization under Pinochet, the level of care remains significantly higher in the Chilean private healthcare sector. The diagnostics market is relatively robust in Chile with over 1,100 clinical laboratories and diagnostics spending representing 5% of total health spending. In terms of local currency and testing volumes, the Chilean IVD market is growing by around 10% annually.

By 2019, Colombia, Peru and Chile combined are projected to represent an IVD market 60% the size of Brazil’s despite the combined national populations being less than half the Brazilian population. While Brazil can claim preeminence in terms of scale, several factors including those outline above have made other South American markets increasingly relevant to global IVD business expansion.

Kalorama Information can offer comprehensive market information for all major IVD markets in the Americas with IVD in Canada (KI Knowledge Center subscription), The United States Market for In Vitro Diagnostic Tests, IVD in Mexico, and The Market for In Vitro Diagnostic Tests in Latin America.