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IN VITRO DIAGNOSTIC TESTING BY PATIENTS AT HOME WILL GROW 27%

Executive Summary

IN VITRO DIAGNOSTIC TESTING BY PATIENTS AT HOME WILL GROW 27% per year between now and 1990, Boston Biomedical Consultants President Henry Weinert predicted Aug. 1 at a briefing on the in vitro diagnostic market held at the 36th annual meeting of the American Assn. for Clinical Chemistry in Washington, D.C. In 1983, at-home testing accounted for about 2%, or $56 mil., of a total $2.6 bil. U.S. market for laboratory assays, newly distributed in vitro diagnostics, and DNA probe products, according to Weinert. By 1990, at-home testing will increase to about $294 mil., Weinert noted. Self-testing will be the fastest growing site for in vitro diagnostics, Weinert said, in line with shifting test locations due to cost-containment concerns. Commercial labs will show the slowest market growth, predicted Weinert, at about 6% a year. Hospital lab locations will increase diagnostic testing by about 11% a year between now and 1990; clinics and health maintenance organizations will grow about 19% a year; and the physician's office location will increase 16%, Weinert said. Overall, basic demand for routine in vitro diagnostic tests will be stable at an annual growth rate of 10%, according to the health care consulting firm. That growth rate is driven by an increasing physician, or requestor, population, Weinert explained. In 1982, there were a total of 440,000 physicians in practice in the U.S., he said. By 1990, that number will climb 2.4% to 530,000. In 1983, the U.S. testing volume was 6.7 bil. tests, Boston Biomedical's Ruth Emyanitoff, PhD, stated at the briefing. Hospitals performed 4 bil. of those tests, commercial labs accounted for 2 bil., outpatient facilities and physician's office each performed 280 mil., and patients at home performed about 140 mil. tests, she said.

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