Germany is Europe’s largest market for medical devices and the world’s third largest, accounting for 6.9% or 23 billion Euros in 2008. Health expenditures in Germany amounted to USD 335 billion in 2008, approximately 10.6% of Germany’s GDP. Major barriers to local market expansion are ongoing health reform efforts and cost- containment measures. Demand will mainly be driven by demographics and a substantial increase in the number of patients, by the need for economies of scale and efficient procedures, and by a major investment backlog estimated at USD 63 billion in hospitals and doctors’ practices. The German medical market expects healthy growth between 5-8% for the next twelve months. It will also continue to provide excellent potential for U.S. suppliers of innovative and price-competitive products. U.S. medical device exporters to Germany continue to hold a 28-30% import market share, depending on product.
U.S. medical device exporters will find good market potential for the following products: high quality advanced diagnostic and therapeutic equipment; innovative technologies and minimally invasive equipment, such as laser-optics in vascular surgery, urology, gastrology, dermatology, and neuro-surgery, new diagnostic and imaging devices, as well as specialized wound care and easy-to-use home care products. The trend is toward demand for miniaturized electro-medical equipment and nano-technology products. Preventive diagnostics and medical products, innovative orthopedic and physiotherapy devices, and biomaterial, cardiovascular and endoscopy products will also find good markets in Germany. Natural orifice surgery, novel imaging technologies, e-health and e-care, telemedicine and telemonitoring products are also in demand in Germany.
The “Medical Technology Action Plan” pools the Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s varied funding activities and programs under three main topics: Medical technology in rehabilitation and care (intelligent implants); Molecular imaging; Medical technology for regenerative medicine. Incentives are provided as R&D project grants/cash incentives with a maximum 50% of eligible project costs. The European Union is subsidizing transnational R&D through its 7th Research Framework Program. A budget of 6.1 billion Euros for the period 2007 to 2013 has been earmarked for health research.