For the past couple of years, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) has been enjoying an explosion in growth. It was one of, if not the, fastest-growing cardiovascular markets, with consistent growth of around 15% year over year. This growth resulted in a market that is used to growth and, in fact, may expect it. However, with the aftereffects of the pandemic on the healthcare industry as well as the maturity of the TAVR market, the halcyon days of TAVR market growth may be coming to an end.

Edward Lifesciences’ CEO Michael Mussallem was quoted as saying “US TAVR procedure volumes continued to be impacted by regional US staffing constraints, which were somewhat worse than we anticipated.” Edwards Lifesciences dominates the TAVR space in the US; GlobalData estimates that the company makes up about 75% of all US procedures. Therefore, if Edwards Lifesciences is expecting gloomier days, its competitors should expect the same or worse.

Edwards Lifesciences has now adjusted its growth forecast down to only mid-single digits, a far cry from the 10% – 18% of yesteryear. This is in line with GlobalData’s own forecasts. The TAVR market has seen growth of up to 40% in the last seven years, as it exploded onto the scene with expanded indications and improving clinician knowledge of when and how to use the procedure. However, as the market matures, the scope for growth is ever diminishing. GlobalData expects that should these chilly headwinds continue to hamstring TAVR’s growth, the US market may only reach a size of $4.7bn, as opposed to the heady $5.9bn that could have been expected if such events hadn’t occurred.

These problems are compounded by the macroeconomic factors at play in the US as well. The Covid pandemic had a horrible effect on the healthcare industry. Short staffing and overwork due to a never-before-seen workload led to high levels of burnout and staff departure from the medical field. This exacerbated the issues, causing further staff to leave. Hospitals are struggling to find enough staff, and this is causing procedures to be delayed or even cancelled. It will be a long time until the healthcare industry recovers from this blow, and until then, procedure volumes – and, ultimately, patients – will have to bear the consequences.

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