Companies in this industry develop and manufacture biological, chemical, and radioactive substances used in the process of detecting, diagnosing, and monitoring health conditions. Major companies include Alere, Beckman Coulter, and Bio-Rad Laboratories (all based in the US), as well as bioMerieux and Guerbet (both in France) and the diagnostic divisions of major pharmaceutical companies such as Abbott (US), Roche (Switzerland), and Siemens (Germany).
Demand for diagnostics is driven by the desire to detect and treat illness and disease. The profitability of individual companies depends on their ability to promote easy-to-use, effective tests and to develop new tests. Large companies have economies of scale in research, manufacturing, and marketing. Smaller companies can compete effectively by specializing in certain types of tests or disease targets, or through advanced product development efforts. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top eight companies account for about 65% of revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Substances manufactured by this industry are utilized either in vitro (in glass containers such as test tubes) or in vivo (in the body). They are used to diagnose and detect illnesses and medical conditions including allergies, cancer, cholesterol levels, glucose levels, fertility problems, pregnancy, and thyroid disorders. Also included in this industry are companies that produce DNA tests and tests that detect whether a person abuses drugs.