Autumn survey: Germany under pressure as a medical technology location
10/19/2023 Regulation News

Autumn survey: Germany under pressure as a medical technology location

According to the German Medical Technology Association BVMed, Germany is under pressure as a medtech location. According to the results of the BVMed autumn survey, the industry has recorded an increase in sales of 4.8 percent compared to the crisis year 2022, but this is offset by a sharp rise in personnel, logistics, raw material and energy costs as well as high costs for the implementation of the EU Medical Device Regulation (MDR). The association is therefore calling for a "MedTech Strategy 2030".

Plasters are unrolled by machine
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which make up 93 per cent of the industry, suffer most from the costs, which have increased across the board. Currently, investments in Germany are declining and research investments are increasingly being shifted abroad. According to the BVMed index, the innovation climate is at an all-time low. "We have to change this with more location-friendly framework conditions. For this, we need holistic approaches - a MedTech Strategy 2030 to improve the framework conditions in Germany with action concepts for the research and production location," said BVMed Chairman Dr Meinrad Lugan at the association's annual press conference in Berlin.
Infographic on the autumn survey

Investments in Germany decline

According to the results of the autumn survey 2023, presented by BVMed Managing Director and Board Member Dr Marc-Pierre Möll, the industry shows a slight recovery after the crisis years 2020 to 2022. "66 percent of the medtech companies surveyed expect a better sales result in Germany this year than last year. This is a slightly better result than in the two previous years - but does not yet reach the values before the corona pandemic. Nineteen percent of the companies surveyed expect a decline in turnover. For 12 percent, the decline in turnover is even in the double-digit range. This shows that individual product areas in the medtech sector are developing very differently," Möll explained.
Only 20 percent of the MedTech companies expect profit increases this year. At 49 percent, almost half of the companies even expect a further deterioration of the profit situation. As in the previous year, the most important reason for the tense business situation is the increased logistics, raw material and energy prices. Added to this are sharply rising personnel costs due to the inflation trend as well as the increasing bureaucratic burden for the regulatory system.
Meinrad Lugan
Germany is the world leader in medical technologies. For now. Because: Europe as a medical technology location is at great risk.
Dr Meinrad Lugan, Chairman of the BVMed Board of Directors
The increasing pressure on the industry is also increasingly affecting investments in Germany as a business location. More than a quarter of the companies are reducing their investments. The situation is similar for research. 20 percent of the companies are reducing their research expenditures compared to the previous year. On a scale of 0 (very poor) to 10 (very good), the companies rate the innovation climate for medical technology in Germany at an average of only 3.5. This is the lowest value since the index was compiled in 2012.

FDA system often preferred

The times when the European regulatory system for medical devices was superior to the US FDA system are over. This is also made abundantly clear by the BVMed Autumn Survey 2023. 53 percent of the companies prefer the FDA system, only 12 percent the MDR system of the EU. 35 percent have no preference.

Despite the effects of the crisis and rising costs, the medical technology industry in Germany continues to create additional jobs. 31 percent of the companies participating in the BVMed autumn survey are increasing the number of employees compared to the previous year, 58 percent are keeping the number stable. Engineers, computer scientists, data scientists and medical technicians in particular are in demand, but also apprenticeships in the technical and commercial field.
Smartphone receives e-mail messages, virtual mail icons can be seen.
Green Background

Inside Industry Newsletter

Don't miss our best content and news around the medical technology industry. Sign up for the newsletter now for free.