According to a recent Frost & Sullivan report, the oncology market in India is presently growing at 20 percent year-on-year. It mentions that the chemotherapy, biologics, targeted therapy, hormonal therapy, and supportive care are the different types of available cancer treatment in India; among which chemotherapy recorded the highest market value of approximately Rs 700 Crore in 2012. According to the report. oncology market in India is forecasted to grow to Rs 3831 crore by 2017 at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.46 percent. At the same time, it also predicts a sharp rise in the market share percentage of biologics and targeted therapy, which are poised to overtake chemotherapy as the preferred treatment option.
Says Dr Manu Jaggi, vice president, R&D, Dabur Research Foundation, "The Indian oncology market is forecast to grow strongly in the next decade, driven by the rise in cancer incidence and diagnosis, improved access to cancer therapies, better health insurance coverage, and higher pharmaceutical spending, particularly among the growing middle class. Since cancer is the second largest cause of death in the country, the Indian market is characterized by a huge demand for cancer drugs. It is a highly fragmented market with a large number of foreign and domestic players. The increase in government expenditure on health and improved access to cancer drugs will also drive the uptake of cancer therapeutics in the future."
Due to high rates of smoking, tobacco use, occupational risks and unhygienic living conditions, Indians are at a high risk of acquiring cancer. Studies have revealed that incidence of cancer is higher amongst women than men. Cancers of oral cavity and lungs in males, and cervix and breast in females, account for over 50 percent of all cancer-related deaths in India at present. In India, there are 28 lakh prevalent cases of all types of cancer, while at least 8 lakh new cases are being witnessed every year.
Ms Rekha Ranganathan, head, oncology, Philips Healthcare, is of the opinion that continued advancements in cancer research, diagnosis and treatment is aimed at controlling incidence and mortality although the rate at which it is spreading is high. "Cervix and breast cancer in females, oral cavity and lungs in male account for over 50 per cent of all cancer-related deaths in India. Only a small percentage of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetic defects, whereas the majority has their roots in the environment and lifestyle. Advancements in medical imaging from X rays, Ultrasound, robotics devices to Nuclear Medicine (Planar and SPECT Gamma Imaging, PET) for cancer detection and treatment have come a long way in improving the quality of patient's life," she adds.
"The oncology pharmaceuticals market in India is the fourth largest in volume and the eighth largest in value in the global market. Since cancer is the second largest cause of death in the country, the Indian market is characterised by a huge demand for cancer drugs. It is a highly fragmented market with a large number of foreign and domestic players," says Dr Manu Chaudhary, joint managing director Venus Remedies.