GlobalDataChina will remain the largest major hepatitis B market during the next decade, rising from just under $923 million in 2014 to more than $1.4 billion by 2024, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s report, which covers the eight major markets (8MM) of the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, Japan and China, states that China will continue to dominate the hepatitis B treatment space, as its market share rises from 38.8% in 2014 to 47.2% by 2024.

Daian Cheng, PhD, GlobalData’s analyst covering infectious disease, says this hepatitis B market trend will be largely down to natural population growth and China’s huge and increasing drug-treated population, which currently makes up 80% of treated cases across the 8MM.

Cheng explains: “China’s proportion of treated cases is much higher than its market share because hepatitis B therapeutics cost much less compared with other regions. Indeed, it is the sheer increase in the number of drug-treated patients that will drive market growth. The projected increase of patients alone, nearly 300,000 between 2014 and 2024, is much more than the total number of treated patients in the US, which is around 100,000. Thus, the increase in therapeutic sales will be considerable and China will hang on to its market dominance, even with lower drug prices.”

Despite the relatively high rates of hepatitis B among the Chinese population, infants are screened for the infection as part of health checks at birth, and at various points throughout their lives, a practice which is mostly organized by schools and employers.

Cheng explains: “There are clear efforts being made in China to improve screening and public awareness. However, GlobalData anticipates that poorer citizens will have limited access to drugs and information over the forecast period, which will be a barrier to market growth and perpetuate the country’s hepatitis B problem.”