By Stewart Eisenhart, Emergo Group
Germany’s medical technology industry has seen sales rates grow by more than five percent according to a survey by the German Medical Technology Association (BVMed).
The BVMed survey had 117 participants, and was released before the 2011 Medical tradeshow in Düsseldorf last month. Key results:
- Nearly 80% of respondents expect 2011 sales to eclipse their 2010 results, due primarily to growth in exports
- Despite sales growth, German medical device manufacturers are having to deal with rising costs of raw materials and transportation, as well as late payments—all of which are impacting profits
- Half of all survey respondents have created new jobs in 2011, and 35% of respondents have maintained current staff levels over the same period; BVMed estimates that its entire membership of firms has created 3,000 new jobs in Germany within the last year
- A majority of respondents indicated favorable views of Germany as a business location, citing high levels of patient care, good infrastructure, efficient market approvals and high standards of clinical research as strong points
- Respondents perceived weaknesses in Germany’s reimbursement system, including increasing pricing pressures from purchasing groups, low reimbursement levels and statutory health insurance policies “hostile” to innovative products
Steps respondents would like to see taken in order to address weaknesses in the German medical device regulatory system include shorter decision-making timeframes by the Federal Joint Committee, as well as reforms for self-governing bodies.
A key question based on the survey results is which export markets are providing the most sales growth for German medical device manufacturers. Are these markets primarily other European Union member states, or they primarily overseas markets in Asia and the Americas? As the European economic crisis continues to unfold, these firms may find it harder maintain sales rates in their closest markets.
Stewart Eisenhart covers medical device regulatory affairs for Emergo Group.