EU should invest more in medical technology to benefit economies
24 March 2005
EU member states should invest more in innovative medical technology and
diagnostics, as this will increase efficiency in healthcare and reduce the
burden on society of disease and disability. Improving health should become
an economic priority.
These were the key messages delivered by Eucomed, the European medical
technology industry association, and EDMA, the European in-vitro diagnostics
association, at their joint housewarming reception on 9 March.
“Many countries are exploring more innovative, adaptable care models.
This includes hospital redesign, the increased use of minimally invasive
surgery, homecare and self-tests, for example. The elimination of
“silo-budgeting” could further contribute to achieving more efficiency in
the allocation of resources. Governments must find new ways to work together
and work with the key stakeholders in healthcare, including industry”, said
Dr Drago Cerchiari, Eucomed Chairman and CEO Sorin Group.
Quoting former EU Health Commissioner David Byrne, he said, “Health
equals wealth. Europe needs a paradigm shift from seeing health expenditure
as a cost to seeing effective health policies as an investment. Europe
should look at what health puts in to the economy and what illness takes
Dr Cerchiari also expressed concern about the competitiveness of the
European medical technology industry, “A competitive industry makes an
important contribution to achieving good health by providing the effective
therapies and diagnostics that are needed. But the European industry is
clearly lagging behind the US industry, both in terms of competitiveness and
innovativeness. R&D intensity is much higher in the US, and so is scientific
productivity; the US has a leading position in terms of patent and
publication counts. This is a major concern for us”.