By Bill Peckham
This press release headline is a bit misleading, UK company launches Middle East's first portable home haemodialysis machine at Arab Health 2010. While it's true that it is NxStage's UK marketing partner offering the NxStage in Dubai, I think most people would say an American device, the NxStage System One, will be the Middle East's first portable home hemodialysis machine:
The NxStage System One home haemodialysis machine, which is only 17 inches high and 17 inches wide, is being introduced into the Middle East on a targeted basis by leading UK company, Kimal plc. The company is initially focussing on two key areas in the region, namely Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Kimal is keen to ensure that these two key areas are fully covered and benefit from excellent practical and clinical support before extending further afield in the region, possibly in early 2011.
No matter who get's the credit this is good news for dialyzors in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The press release also contains the shocking statement that "UAE treatment needs are increasing by 15 - 20% each year". Wow, that is a frightening growth rate but it could be seen as good news. Looking closer at the numbers is appears that it isn't that more people will need dialysis, as much as more people who need dialysis will receive treatment.
The population of the UAE is about 4.4 million. The press release notes that currently about 1,900 people are being dialyzed. That prevalence of about 430 per million population is below what you'd expect, based on the UAE's 53K per capita GDP. UAE's current low prevalence implies not everyone who today could benefit from dialysis is receiving it. Indeed, plotting the UAE on a 2008 graph published by Fresenius shows that based on the UAE's per capita GDP you'd expect many more people on dialysis.
Looking at CKD5 prevalence numbers in other Middle East countries (table at PDF link) it appears that the Middle East is a ripe market for NxStage. Filtering the prevalence numbers by per capita GDP leads me to think that Kuwait will be the next market, even though Kuwait's relatively small population means there is less total potential.
I'm not sure if Kamal should be encouraged but I think India would look to be a good potential market when you consider the huge size of its population.