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European medical technology industry launches 5-year strategy and commits to value-based innovation

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The European medical technology industry association Eucomed launched today at the MedTech Forum in Brussels its 5 year industry strategy report ‘Contract for a Healthy Future’ in which the association outlines the role industry must play in steering healthcare systems onto a sustainable path. The medical technology industry acknowledges that it needs to change and will embrace, deliver and demonstrate cost-efficiency and health outcome needs of payers and policymakers, which is the essence of value-based innovation. The industry commits to playing its part and providing medical technology innovations that ensure sustainable, accessible healthcare and healthy ageing. Eucomed appeals to other healthcare stakeholders to also reconsider their role as the industry cannot achieve a healthy future for Europe on its own.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) today opened the MedTech Forum by launching its report ‘Future-proofing Western Europe’s healthcare’. The report, sponsored by Eucomed, examines how selected countries in Western Europe intend to future-proof their healthcare systems as healthcare demand is growing while budgets are becoming tighter. Five healthcare initiatives are highlighted that show positive changes in preparing for the future.

The EIU report states that to meet the challenges of the future, healthcare systems must be efficient, effective, integrated and informed. The medical technology industry in Europe is ready to play its role in increasing the productivity and efficiency of healthcare systems as well as delivering crucial information by collecting, developing and sharing evidence-based cases of technologies that support healthy ageing.

“We have to rethink our healthcare systems in Europe and steer them back onto a sustainable path. As an industry, innovation has always been at the heart of what we do. But the future will demand a different kind of innovative thinking from all stakeholders in our economies. We will take the first step and deliver value-based innovations that deliver a demonstrable positive return on investment in healthy life years for citizens”, says Guy Lebeau, Chairman of Eucomed.

The change needed in reforming European healthcare systems will require other healthcare stakeholders to play their part too. Industry will prove the cost-saving potential of medical technology and deliver value-based innovation. In turn, it requests that policymakers build better cost models and end silo-based budgeting, while payers are requested to achieve health productivity and efficiency by prioritising value not price.

John Wilkinson, Chief Executive of Eucomed adds: “The European Commissioner for Health has stated on various occasions that we need innovation in products, services, organisation, delivery and financing. We believe it is short-sighted to cut back on medical technologies when health budgets are squeezed, especially when you consider that 70% of health spending is consumed by personnel and hospital organisation. Compare that with medical technology which accounts for less than 5%. If the industry delivers its promise and enables healthcare systems to become more productive and efficient, governments should reward us and invest in the right technologies”.

Eucomed launched a special website www.reforminghealthcare.eu where more information on reforming European healthcare systems can be found.

■ Download the Eucomed report “Contract for a Healthy Future

■ Download the Economist Intelligence Unit report “Future-proofing Western Europe’s healthcare

■ For more information visit the website www.reforminghealthcare.com

About Eucomed

Eucomed is the European medical technology industry association. Its mission is to make modern, innovative and reliable medical technology available to more people. Eucomed represents directly and indirectly 22,500 designers, manufacturers and suppliers of medical technology used in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and amelioration of disease and disability. Small and medium sized companies make up more than 80% of this sector. The European medical technology industry generates annual sales of €95 billion, invests some €7.5 billion in R&D and employs around 500,000 highly skilled workers. For more information visit www.eucomed.org

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