The French Health Insurance System
In France, medical expenses are predominantly paid for as part of a mandatory national insurance system which is implemented by a small number of funds and coordinated through the Union Nationale des Caisses d’Assurance Maladie (UNCAM). The system is paid for by a tax which both employers and workers contribute to, however at present, under difficult economic conditions and with an ageing population the system’s budget is under tight pressure, meaning that the French authorities exert firm control over pricing and reimbursement rates.
The French Medical Device Market
At present, the Medical Device market in France remains the second largest in Europe and fifth worldwide, representing 16% of the total European output. The French MedTech market is predominantly supplied by French-owned companies and also through a growing share of foreign sales subsidiaries of multiple companies. The main strengths of medical device producers in France lies predominantly in fields such as implants (prostheses), technical support, minimal-invasive surgery systems, diagnostic imaging and in vitro diagnostics.
The Future of the French Medical Device Market
It is forecast by the BMI Industry that the 2014-2019 French Medical Device market will have a CAGR (€) of 4.7% which is higher that the 2009-2014 CAGR (€) of 4.3%, reflecting higher economic growth over the next few years. In terms of US dollars however, the forecast for 2014-2019 predicts that the CAGR will be lower at 2.4%, due to a weak euro during the early part of the forecast period, taking the market value to USD16.5bn. Although, hopefully, support for the domestic medical device industry will continue to grow under the French Government’s Medicine of the Future programme, which was launched in 2015. This programme aims to provide support through the Strategic Health Sector Committee to bring new medical biotechnologies and innovative medical devices to market. It aims to do so by simplifying access to medical markets, using public procurement as a development lever for innovative companies – thereby facilitating their access to public financing – and adopting the necessary measures to speed up clinical trials.
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