U.S. Medtech Challenges at Home and Abroad
Healthcare reform, regulation, and R&D hurdles must be overcome to gain access to the big opportunities for the medtech industry.
Today, the United States is the acknowledged world leader in medical devices and diagnostic products. With more than half of the leading global medical device companies based in the United States, the industry currently employs more than 400,000 Americans directly and 2 million people indirectly. Between 2005 and 2007, the industry created 80,000 new jobs, a workforce growth of 20% in just two years. Further, it consistently devotes significant revenues to innovation; from 2007-2009, R&D investment in medical devices increased by 9%. Not only is the industry a source of life-enhancing and life-sustaining treatments and cures, but it is also an important manufacturing industry and a driver of current and future U.S. economic growth. It is one of the few American manufacturing industries that consistently export more than it imports (exports doubled between 1998 and 2008, to $33 billion annually).