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Contact lens market grows across Europe

The latest data from Euromcontact reports that the market value of soft contact lenses across Europe is on the rise

Women holding a contact lens

In 2016 the value of soft contact lenses at an industry to practitioner level grew by 5.7% in 33 European countries combined, a new report released by Euromcontact has revealed. This takes the market value up to €1742m for the year.

The annual data, which has been collected by Euromcontact since 2003, covers daily disposables, weekly/bi-weekly and monthly lenses, and conventional soft contact lenses.

Based on reporting data for 11 of the 33 countries where it was collected, Euromcontact confirmed that Sweden had the highest penetration rates amongst its contact lens-wearing population aged between 15 and 64 years old, up by 9.7% year-on-year to 15.2%. Denmark and Norway followed at 13.1% and 11.1% respectively. However, despite proving to have healthy penetration rates in comparison to other European countries, levels in Norway actually fell year-on-year by 5.2%.

The lowest penetration rates were reported in Spain and Germany, which both detailed rates of 4.1%.

In terms of growth, Sweden also experienced the largest increase, rising year-on-year by 15.2%. Strong growth was also documented in Belgium and Luxembourg (11.4%), and the UK and Ireland (8%).

Commenting on the rise in the UK and Irish market, Giovanni Abruzzini, Johnson & Johnson Vision’s general manager of Vision Care in the UK and Ireland, told OT: “This news is testament to the combined efforts of optical practitioners and manufacturers alike.”

He added: “At Johnson & Johnson Vision, we are committed to developing innovative products that help practitioners improve patient service, and to strengthening our working relationships with practices. We want to help patients experience the many benefits of contact lenses by providing excellent vision with our high quality products.”

The lens care market was found to have decreased by 0.8% year-on-year.

Lens type

Euromcontact confirmed that the contact lens market grew by 4.8% to reach a value of €1426m in the 11 countries that it reported data on. Those countries included the UK and Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Norway, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, France, Denmark, and Belgium and Luxembourg.

Within those 11 countries combined, the market share of daily disposables grew by 9.5%. However, the weekly/bi-weekly and monthly lenses segment declined by 0.14%, while conventional soft contact lenses shrunk by 8.5%. The organisation pointed out that conventional soft contacts lens already account for a very small amount of the total market at less than 1%.

Analysis data in all 33 countries showed that 50% of the contact lens market was accounted for by daily disposables, 49.4% by the weekly/bi-weekly and monthly lenses, and 0.14% by conventional soft contact lenses.

The report added that within the weekly/bi-weekly and monthly lenses market, silicone hydrogels were found to have a market share of more than 83.6% when analysed across all 33 countries and 60% of those 11 countries.  

Image credit: Flickr/Moda Fina Bone