European Varicose Vein Landscape all Lumps and Bumps Says New Study

A new study, undertaken by Decision Resources Group, claims that adoption of treatments for varicose veins in Europe will increase overall but will vary significantly by country, due to the uneven impact of the European economic crisis and the differing preferences of physicians.


Like so many medical procedures, the reduction of varicose veins is one that has come on in leaps and bounds over the last couple of decades. Pop the word sclerotherapy into google and you’ll be assaulted by a host of private clinics offering to rid you of your unsightly spider veins and the odd varicosity. Yet the old ways, including surgical stripping, one of the least pleasant things to witness in an operating room, endure because, well, it works.

Decision Resources Group(DRG), a well established and respected market intelligence outfit, has tried to get under the skin (pardon the pun) of the condition and concluded that economic as well as clinical factors are contributing to the resilience of stripping as a therapeutic solution.

DRG says procedure volumes for surgical stripping will decline overall through 2022. No surprise there. However, they say demand for this relatively invasive procedure will continue, since public healthcare systems in France, German, UK, Italy and Spain reimburse for it. They even pick out poor old Spain as the most likely to continue to perform surgical procedures, due to a lack of training for vascular surgeons on sclerotherapy and endovenous ablation.

Other factors that the report picks up are perhaps typical of issues that characterise the adoption of newer therapeutic solutions.  For example, the report author says that countries in which liquid sclerotherapy was pioneered, Italy and France, are also its most avid adopters. While the more conservative UK, bothered by negative clinical reports and recurrence rates, see slower adoption, reluctance to reimburse and equivocal clinical guidelines, although these are gradually becoming more favourable.

Researcher comments

“Although reimbursement and cost will influence adoption of all varicose vein procedure types to varying degrees, these factors will have the greatest impact on the endovenous ablation device market,” said Decision Resources Group Analyst Leila Bautista. “The price of these devices is relatively high, and there is currently insufficient reimbursement in the public health care system. A large proportion of endovenous ablation procedures must therefore be paid for out-of-pocket, encouraging patients to seek out alternative treatments. However, patients with private insurance will continue to seek endovenous ablation procedures, and procedure volumes will grow moderately.”

The report is entitled; European Markets for Varicose Vein Treatment Devices 2014 and details can be found here.

Source: Decision Resources Group

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