German medical technology companies grow 4.3% in 2006
5 March 2007
Berlin, Germany. The medical technology sector in Germany
increased its turnover by 4.3% in 2006, according to a survey of the 200
member companies of BVMed, the German Medical Technology Association. This
compares to growth in turnover of 2% in 2005, and 1.5% in 2004.
In comparison to other sectors, the category "single-use devices, intensive
care medicine, nursing items" reported an above-average turnover growth of
5.6%. Turnover in the sectors "single-use surgical equipment" (plus 3.4%),
"incontinence and ostomy aids" (plus 3.0%) and "dressing materials" (plus
1.0%) was somewhat subdued. The reported rise in turnover is mainly based on
volume growth. The BVMed sales structure is as follows: medical devices for
intensive and nursing care: 62 %; dressing materials: 15%; surgical
equipment: 7%; incontinence and ostomy care: 16%
BVMed is calling for a "health economy master plan" that is aligned across
all policy areas and, above all, coordinated with the government's economy,
research and health departments as well as with the Federal Chancellery.
Director General of BVMed Joachim M. Schmitt has called for a broad
discussion by society in general on how much health is worth to the country.
He said that people should be openly informed that the finite resources of
Statutory Health Insurance cannot deliver an unending supply of innovative
healthcare benefits. “In times of limited resources there is an even greater
need for more individual responsibility of the medically insured for their
own health and for alternative funding concepts, so that, in the future,
medical progress can continue to be made available to all patients in good
time,, he said.
Medical technologies are a significant economic and labour market factor in
Germany. The medical technology companies have a considerable share in the
positive development of the health economy. Healthcare spending in the
medical devices sector amounted to more than €20 billion. Of this amount,
€10.1 billion account for medical technical aids, €9 billion for other
medical supplies and about €1 billion for the sector of medical dressings,
which is listed in the category "pharmaceuticals". The share of Statutory
Health Insurance in the total expenditure incurred amounted to some €14
billion: €5.5 billion were spent on medical technical aids, €7.8 billion on
other medical supplies plus the medical dressings share.
The world market for medical devices amounted to some €184 billion. The
European market, estimated at €55 billion, is the second biggest market in
the world, following the United States at €79 billion. Besides the USA and
Japan, Germany is the third biggest market worldwide at €20 billion and by
far the largest market in Europe. It is about twice as large as the French
and three times as large as the Italian and the British market.