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How Biomedical Companies Successfully Navigated Turbulent Economic Times

While most giant corporations crashed during the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, the biomedical devices industry grew, invested, and prospered. The Great Recession (from 2007 to 2009) represents the worst downturn the western world has seen since the 1930s, a time when most companies saw revenue recede and profits disappear, and they resorted to widespread layoffs, investment freezes, and research cuts. In the midst of this storm, the worldwide biomedical devices industry went against the current. These companies grew their revenues and increased profits by investing in research and product development, increasing their marketing spend, and hiring new staff. They did this in all of their markets—North America, Europe, and Asia—and grew their profits without massive outsourcing, inventory liquidations, mass layoffs, or fire sale liquidations. This sector is not completely recession proof, as some firms did hit the bumps when consumers delayed expensive, elective medical procedures such as knee and hip replacements. But taken as a whole, the businesses that comprise this industry sector sailed through the Great Recession as if it never happened.

This industry review looks at 25 of the top independent biomedical device makers for an in-depth study that analyzes their business strategies, financial results, marketing investment, product portfolios, and research and development to better understand what drove growth and profitability in a time of worldwide downturn. The analysis sets out to discover why this particular sector thrived where others failed, analyze whether this success is sustainable over the long-term, and identify areas for improvement.


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