Date: April 2004 | |
Next to the United States, the European Union is the world’s leading market for medical devices and medical disposables. Both the total size of population and the strong economy are major causes for this predominance. The Netherlands, with only a small population of 16.3 million, is a relatively large importer due to its position as gateway to Europe. Also, (after Luxembourg, Denmark and Germany) the Netherlands have the 4th highest per capita expenditure on health care (€ 2,496 per caput annually in 2004).
Another factor determining the market size, and which makes the EU and especially the Netherlands an attractive market for exporters, is the sophisticated state of the market. For example, stringent monitoring of sterility procedures and preventive inoculation of whole sectors of population are common practice in the EU and lead to high figures for consumption of medical disposables.
For the purpose of this report, the following products will be under the scope of this survey:
• medical disposableswadding, gauze and bandages
latex medical disposables
syringes, needles and catheters
wound closure products
nappies and similar hygiene products • medical devices:medical and surgical instruments and appliances medical & diagnostic equipment
The EU-15 is one of the leading markets for medical devices and medical disposables in the world, with consumption of the selected items amounting to € 29,612 million in 2004. (Note: Full figures for the larger EU-25 after the accession of new member states in 2004 are not available; however the new 10 EU members have relatively low spending on health.) Germany is the largest consumer of medical devices and medical disposables within the European Union, with over 26 percent of total EU consumption. Italy is the second largest market with a 20 percent share, followed by the United Kingdom (16 percent), France (12 percent), Spain (10 percent) and the Netherlands (9 percent).
Below, we have given consumption data for the ten major product groups as distinguished above.
EU-15 consumption of selected medical disposables and devices, in € million, 2003 [pic]
Source: Datashop CBS, Central Bureau of Statistics, the Netherlands Figures are indicative, on account of data disclosure restrictions
The largest product groups within the medical disposables are ‘Nappies and similar hygiene products’, ‘Syringes, needles and catheters’ and ‘Wadding, gauze and bandages’. The trend in EU-15 policies towards a reduction in public expenditure since the mid-nineties has tended to reduce hospital treatment and increase home nursing. This leads to an increase in the market for user-friendly products such as ‘Wadding, gauze and bandages’ and ‘Nappies and similar hygiene products’. ‘Latex medical disposables’ only form a small proportion of total EU consumption.
In 2003, the EU-15 imported 1,551,555 tonnes of the selected medical devices and disposables, which represented a value of € 30,920 million. Germany is the largest EU importer of the selected products, followed by the Netherlands and France. Together, these three countries account for almost half of total EU imports.
Asian countries account for a relatively small share of 5 percent of overall EU-15 imports. An exception is the import of ‘Latex medical disposables’ of which 64 percent originates from developing countries. The largest suppliers of medical devices and medical disposables in 2003 were Malaysia, China,...