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All things Pharma

Editor’s comments



The bigger picture

As the On Target team were en route to this year’s AfPP Congress in Harrogate, the news broke that a 77-year-old granny had been jailed for trying to smuggle £1 million worth of cocaine through Customs in her electric mobility scooter. This incident provides an unexpected example of the use of medical devices for drug delivery. It also illustrates the challenge of an ageing population with high expectations of personalised healthcare.

The AfPP Congress and the accompanying Exhibition (see our report on pages 16–17 for details) reflected the growing emphasis on patient-centred care within the NHS. The medtech industry plays a crucial role in bringing healthcare closer to the patient – not only through new medical technologies but through innovations in service delivery and the healthcare supply chain.

Looking as always to the bigger picture, this issue of On Target brings you an overview of the European market for medical technologies. Despite the current global economic crisis, the market for healthcare in the EU is maintaining a growth rate of 5–6%. John Wilkinson, the new Chief Executive of Eucomed, tells On Target that “Broadly speaking, we can see a bright future for the industry. Demand continues to grow at a pace, largely due to demographics but also due to some new technologies that allow you to do things that couldn’t be done before.”

The changing needs of the population, driven by its demographics and lifestyle, and the new medical technologies that are evolving in response to those needs combine to produce an irresistible dynamic for the healthcare sector. We break down the European market into its geographical components, and show that positive forecasts for the medtech industry have a broad and diverse evidence base.

In the latest of our series of interviews on ‘The roads to market’, Alan Connington makes the same fundamental point: “The market for innovative healthcare technologies is right in front of you and all around you.” He also emphasises that no easy solutions to the complexities of procurement and supply are available: “Do your homework and don’t look for short cuts.” The market favours those companies that are well prepared and informed.

There are no short cuts on the road to market – but there are signposts to give you insight, and maps to give you perspective. Which is where we came in. As the good health of the medtech industry continues to battle with the ailing global economy, On Target will go on asking the right questions, challenging outdated attitudes, and celebrating innovative practice in health and business alike.

In the often cloudy world of 21st-century business, clear vision is the key to success. On Target holds up a mirror to the healthcare market. And whatever that dealer may tell you, mirrors are for looking in.

Chris Ross


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