Although the United States will continue to lead the world in medical technology innovation, it will begin to lose ground to other countries during the next decade, as will Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Israel and Japan, according to a report published by the PwC Pharmaceuticals, Medical Device and Life Sciences Industry Group. The BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) increasingly will pick up the slack. Firmly positioned as the leader of the pack, China is expected to continue “to outpace other countries and reach near parity with the developed nations of Europe by 2020,” note PwC analysts in the Medical Technology Innovation Scorecard.
For a number of factors that the report clearly outlines, US-based medtech manufacturers often are going outside the United States to compile clinical data, register new products and seek first revenue opportunities. Medtech innovators are very likely to bring new products to market first in Europe. By 2020, however, the move will be towards emerging markets, according to the report, and the inexorable rise of China.
There are some rather significant caveats to this scenario. “The shift away from the United States to nations such as China, India and Brazil is not necessarily preordained. Factors related to intellectual property protection, difficulty of doing business in some emerging countries and weak local supplier networks could make these markets less attractive, despite their size, and could hinder these nations’ effort to assume innovation leadership,” notes the report.
The Medical Technology Innovation Scorecard, which is available for free download, includes a number of other provocative observations. It’s well worth a bit of your time.Norbert Sparrow