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Cover Focus | Sep 2015

Is a Robust Growth of Premium IOL Use in the Cards?

The answer is likely yes, according to manufacturers of premium IOLs and Market Scope research.

Recently, in an attempt to better understand the refractive surgery market in Europe—which includes cataract surgery with premium IOLs—I contacted a number of refractive laser and IOL manufacturers. In concurrence with the manufacturers’ projections, statistics from Market Scope suggest that the premium IOL market will grow at a higher rate than the monofocal IOL market.

Figure 1. Growth of cataract procedures in Western Europe over the past 3 years.

Figure 2. Growth potential of the total premium IOL market.

I asked IOL manufacturers to describe the growth of cataract procedures in Western Europe over the past 3 years and to make projections for the coming 3 years. At present, the utilization of premium IOLs is low relative to the total numbers of cataract procedures in all countries. Growth has been flat or modest in most countries for the past 3 years (Figure 1). Portugal led with 6.7% growth, and there was a decrease of 2% in Italy. Companies forecast a growth of 1% or 2% for all the countries of Western Europe over the next 3 years. This expectation of growth makes sense, as a lot of people will be turning 60 years and older in the coming years (see Percentage of the Total Population). For Western Europe, Market Scope projects the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for cataract surgery to be 2%, matching well with the companies’ predictions of 1% to 2% growth.

With this aging of the population, the IOL market is expected to increase. Growth of monofocal IOLs is predicted to be modest, with a CAGR of 1.8% from 2015 to 2020. Growth of premium IOLs is expected to be more robust, with a CAGR of 7.6% for all presbyopia-correcting IOLs (multifocal, accommodating, and extended depth of focus), according to Market Scope.


25.3%Current percentage of the population in Western Europe in 2015 that is greater than 60 years old
26.8%Predicted percentage of the same population in the year 2020


For a final glimpse at the growth potential of the total premium IOL market, see Figure 2. Looking at the previous 5 years and projecting forward to the next 5 years, Market Scope sees a total 2.7-fold increase in volume over this 10-year time frame.

Erik L. Mertens, MD, FEBOphth
• Medical Director, Medipolis, Antwerp, Belgium
• Chief Medical Editor, CRST Europe
• Financial disclosure: None