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"Medical technology" Wirtschaftswoche conference

The importance of the medical technology sector is growing continuously in Germany. Investments in research and development play a particularly important role in this highly innovative industry. However, the introduction of innovations in reimbursement systems requires further improvements.

According to Joachim M. Schmitt, Director General of BVMed, the growing importance of medical technology in Germany has to be regarded as a huge opportunity. “Medical technologies can improve the quality of treatment and reduce costs. The introduction of MedTech innovations often leads to a reduction in the time people are absent from work, reduces the recovery time of patients and enables them to return quickly to their jobs and participate in society,” said Schmitt speaking at the “Medical technology” Wirtschaftswoche conference held on 3 July 2008 in Berlin.

According to BVMed, the German medical technology sector employs over 170,000 people and the medical technology market is worth approximately 22 billion euros. A look into the future clearly shows that the MedTech sector is likely to remain a driving force for growth and employment. “Medical progress will develop even more rapidly; many highly innovative technologies are already, or will soon be, undergoing clinical testing,” said Schmitt explaining that this development will be a great challenge for patient care in Germany. “We are still, and rightly, proud of the high level of patient care in Germany. However, the financing of innovations will become more difficult in the future.”

Reimbursement of new methods must become less bureaucratic

The medical technology sector is very dynamic and highly innovative. The German medical device manufacturers achieve about one third of their revenues with the sale of products that are less than three years old. On average, the research-based MedTech companies invest about nine per cent of their revenues in research and development. Thus, the innovation and research location of Germany plays a particularly important role for MedTech companies.

Because of the large number of well trained physicians, researchers and engineers and the high standard of clinical research, Germany possesses excellent conditions for developing new medical products and methods into marketable commodities. However, the introduction of innovations into the reimbursement systems must undergo improvement. That is why in the ongoing legislative procedure on future hospital financing, the BVMed is working hard to improve the innovation clause of the DRG system. “In order to enable a more flexible and quicker access to medical progress, the BVMed suggests to remove bureaucratic hurdles and simplify the reimbursement of new examination and treatment methods according to the Hospital Remuneration Law,” said Schmitt concluding: “In order to be able to support innovations, we have to work together and put greater emphasis on quality aspects. With this, we make sure that the MedTech companies will continue to be the driver of healthcare and work for the benefit of patients.

Source: BVMed press release - 3 July 2008
Website address: https://www.gesundheitsindustrie-bw.de/en/article/news/medical-technology-wirtschaftswoche-conference