France is Europe’s biggest importer and exporter of medical devices. However, current reforms are driving cost reduction and efficiencies. Medtech Business in association with Espicom takes a look at the French market for medical technologies.
France is one of the top five medical device markets in the world, accounting for around 3.9% of the global market.* Within Europe, the market ranks behind Germany and is a similar size to that of the UK.
The country has a well-developed healthcare system, combining public hospitals with commercial clinics that are the main providers of elective surgical treatment. While the public sector is the largest purchaser of most diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, the private sector is the dominant purchaser of surgical equipment and supplies.
The high level of healthcare expenditure (11.8% of GDP) and the substantial health deficit are major concerns that have prompted various reform programmes aimed at curtailing costs and improving efficiency in the healthcare system. For this reason, the medical market is only likely to see moderate growth, rising from US$8.3 billion in 2011 to US$9.8 billion by 2016.
Despite several high-profile investment programmes, France continues to lag behind its European neighbours in some high-technology fields, most notably imaging and radiotherapy equipment. A second five-year cancer plan has now been launched which aims to increase the numbers of scanners.
With flagging domestic production in several sectors the French medical device market is increasingly reliant upon imports, which now account for around 80% of consumption. However, many imported products are re-exported to other countries.
The market in 2011
In 2011, the French medical device market (see Figure 1) is valued at US$8,280 million. Consumables is the largest product category, accounting for 20.9% of the overall market, followed by diagnostic imaging (19.8%).
Espicom estimates that the medical device market will grow at an average annual growth rate of 3.5% between 2011 and 2016 – bringing the total market value to US$9.8 billion by 2016.
Orthopaedic and prosthetic devices are expected to continue to be the most dynamic sector of the market, with growth forecast to be more than double the rate for the overall market. Conversely, diagnostic imaging is forecast to have the lowest growth during the 2011–16 period.
Predictions for market segments
Figure 2 shows Espicom’s predictions for the major segments of the medical device market.
1. Consumables. The market for medical consumables is estimated at US$1,729 million. The consumables market grew at an annual rate of 5.1% in US dollar terms between 2006 and 2010. Imports supply the greater part of the market. Espicom estimates the consumables market will continue to grow by an average of 3.5% over the next few years.
The wound care products market is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 2.9% in US dollar terms during the 2011–16 period. Syringes, needles & catheters has been the fastest growing sector of the consumables market and will continue to be, with a CAGR of 4.1% to 2016.
2. Diagnostic imaging apparatus. The market for diagnostic imaging is estimated at US$1,636 million. The market grew at an annual rate of 2.8% between 2006 and 2010. France lags behind its European neighbours in the diagnostic imaging field, though the second cancer plan aims to increase provision of MRI, CT and PET scanners.
Imports supply the greater part of the market, though their market share is lower for radiation apparatus due to the strength of the domestic manufacturing industry. The USA and Germany are the major sources of supply. Espicom estimates that the imaging market will grow by an average of 2.1% between 2011 and 2016.
3. Dental products. The market for dental products is estimated at US$859 million, equal to 10.4% of the total medical device market. The dental products market grew at an annual rate of 4.2% between 2006 and 2010. It is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 3.5% over the next few years, taking the total to US$1,020 million by 2016.
4. Orthopaedic & prosthetic devices. The market for orthopaedic & prosthetic devices is estimated at US$1,336 million, equal to 16.1% of the total medical device market. The orthopaedic & prosthetic devices market grew at an annual rate of 9.2% between 2006 and 2010.
Imports have seen particularly high growth in recent years, though a corresponding increase in exports in this sector indicates that not all imported products are destined for the domestic market. The majority of orthopaedic imports are supplied by Switzerland and the USA.
The orthopaedic & prosthetic devices market is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 6.1% in US dollars over the next few years, taking the total to US$1,794 million by 2016.
5. Patient aids. The market for patient aids is estimated at US$1,131 million, equal to 13.7% of the total medical device market. The patient aids market grew at an annual rate of 4.5% between 2006 and 2010.
French imports of patient aids far exceed the value of the domestic market due to a high level of re-export activity, particularly for pacemakers. Switzerland and the USA are the leading suppliers of portable aids, whilst the USA and China are the major sources of supply for therapeutic appliances.
The patient aids market is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 3.9% over the next few years, taking the total to US$1,367 million by 2016.
The value of French medical device imports has recorded a steady rise over the past decade, reaching US$10.4 billion in 2008 before falling back to US$10.3 billion in 2009.
Imports of consumable items amounted to US$1,780.6 million in 2009. Imports fell by 1.0% over 2008 in US dollar terms (though they increased in euro terms). Syringes, needles, catheters & cannulae are the largest subcategory.
Diagnostic imaging imports totalled US$1,564.0 million in 2009, equal to 15.2% of the total. This was the weakest performing category in 2009, with a fall of 16.4%.
Imports of orthopaedic & prosthetic devices were worth US$1,549.1 million in 2009, equal to 15.1% of total medical device imports. This was the fastest growing category in 2009, with a rise of 26.6%. All three subcategories – artificial joints, orthopaedic appliances and other artificial body parts – recorded strong growth.
Patient aids are the largest import category, with imports worth US$2,624.1 million in 2009, equal to 25.5% of total medical device imports. Pacemakers accounted for 54.7% of imports in this category in 2009, but also accounted for more than half of patient aid exports.
The leading suppliers of French medical imports in 2009 were the USA, Switzerland and Belgium, with the UK ranking eighth as a supplier with imports worth US$288,964 (2.8% of the total).
In 2009, medical device exports registered a 3.0% fall in value to US$9.2 billion, having recorded steady growth in previous years with a CAGR of 6.8% for the 2005–2009 period.
In 2009, 69.5% of all French medical device exports were sent to the rest of the EU, with the Netherlands taking a 17.6% share, followed by Germany with 14.4%. The UK took 6.6% of French medical device exports.
Outside Europe, the leading destination is the USA, which accounted for 9.1% of exports. The USA is the leading destination for French exports of diagnostic imaging apparatus.
Next month, Medtech Business will look at the medical technologies market in Germany.
This article is based on information from Medical Market Outlook reports published quarterly by Espicom Business Intelligence. *All figures are in US $. For further details of the 66 markets covered, please visit www.espicom.com/outlookm1