India: High Rates of Kidney Disease Lean to Medtech Opportunities

The largest ever study of kidney disease in India has found that 17 percent of urban Indian residents have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Rates are as high as 47 percent in some cities. Most of the Indians surveyed were unaware they had CKD and had never undergone kidney function testing.

Six percent of those surveyed had stage III kidney disease — a moderate to severe condition requiring medical treatment, including dialysis. India has more than 52,000 patients receiving long-term dialysis, but has only 1,000 kidney specialists in the whole country. According to study authors, the number of doctors and the availability of treatment options is not nearly enough to keep up with demand.

Demand for dialysis is growing at a rate of 30 percent annually, and the Indian market for kidney care products has jumped from $100 million in 2007 to nearly $155 million today.

This has meant big business for medical device companies like Fresenius Medical Care. The German company has seen Indian sales of its kidney dialysis equipment increase 30 percent annually since 2006. Other foreign medical device companies with large shares in the Indian market include Baxter and Gambro AB.