PwC: Emerging med tech markets catching up to U.S.

The U.S. continues to lead the world in its capacity to produce the latest in medical technology innovation, but emerging markets like China, India and Brazil are catching up, according to a new report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers.  The report, "Medical Technology Innovation Scorecard: The race for global leadership," is based on the findings of the PwC Medical Technology Innovation Scorecard, which evaluates nine nations: Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.

"The medical technology field in the U.S. has long benefited from a confluence of social, technical, political and economic forces that came together to create an ecosystem which fosters medical technology innovation," said Michael Swanick, U.S. Pharmaceuticals, Medical Device and Life Sciences Industry leader, PwC. "However, the balance of these forces is beginning to change, driven by global economic dynamics, governmental policies and the actions of individual companies and entrepreneurs." And, the report adds, U.S. consumers aren't always the first to benefit from medical technology and could eventually be last. Indeed, innovators already are going first to market in Europe and, by 2020, likely will move into emerging countries next.

The report also found the following:

  • On a scale of 1 to 9, with 9 as the highest score, the U.S. currently has a total score of 7.1 and is the global leader in medical technology innovation.  Because of decades of innovation dominance, the U.S. continues to show the greatest capacity for medical technology innovation;

  • The scores of the other developed nations (the U.K., Germany, Japan and France) fall within a tight band of 4.8 to 5.4. Among the developed countries included in this study, Germany and the U.K. demonstrate the strongest support for innovation and Japan the weakest;

  • Israel, despite its small size, ranks near the level of the European nations, which indicates its strong capacity to foster innovation; and

  • The emerging markets lag behind developed ones. China, with its powerful economic growth engine, scores 3.4, ranking it higher than India and Brazil, each of which scored 2.7.

However, the report notes, the shift away from the U.S. is not necessarily preordained. Factors related to intellectual property protection, difficulty of doing business in some emerging countries and weak local supplier networks could make these markets less attractive.

- check out the PwC release
- here's the scorecard