Russia Makes Medtech Power Play

February 27, 2013 – 8:17 am

If Russia is not currently on your radar as a medtech market, it will be soon. That was the message delivered by Alexandra Tretiakova, Executive Director of Russia’s International Medical Device Manufacturers Association, at the Breakfast Briefing hosted by European Medical Device Technology at MEDTEC Europe on 27 February. Currently valued at $6.4 billion, the medtech market is projected to grow 13.5% annually to become the world’s sixth largest by 2020, said Tretiakova. “It is a sophisticated, premium-price market with enormous potential for medical device manufacturers,” she added, noting that she has witnessed the sector’s evolution from the trenches.

Tretiakova was selling surgical instruments in the 1990s, the only surgical rep in Russia for much of that time, she added wryly. The healthcare sector languished for many years, and is the last major public sector to undergo reform in Russia, she said. The government’s Strategy 2020 aims to make up for lost time by pouring significant resources into the device and pharmaceutical sectors. Elements of the programme include modernising the infrastructure and growing the indigenous medical device industry. “By 2020, the government wants to increase the market share of national medical device manufacturing from the current 18% to 40%,” said Tretiakova, a figure that startled some attendees.

There is no denying, however, that Russia has grand ambitions for its healthcare industry and is not shy about providing the  necessary resources. The government is laying the foundations for future growth through new regulatory measures, increased privitisation of clinical facilities and infrastructure renewal. The focus on healthcare is not surprising in some respects, given that as much as “70% of hospital equipment is outdated, by some accounts,” said Tretiakova.

Reinforcing that Russia’s medtech sector is open for business, Mark Snell, Executive Vice President of UBM Canon Events, announced to Breakfast Briefing attendees that UBM Canon in partnership with Restec has plans to organise a medtech conference in St. Petersburg.

MEDTEC Europe runs through 28 February at Messe Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany.

Norbert Sparrow

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