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Medical device makers' biggest challenges

Arundhati Parmar

The Medical Devices Group on LinkedIn is one of the most active groups on the site, and as a member, I often check out what’s being discussed there.

The 100,000-strong group’s owner Joe Hage has in the past flexed his muscle to get the 2.3 percent medical device tax repealed using the forum. It elicited some strong negative reaction with some saying the group was not a place for political activism.

But recently, a wholly relevant question was posted to the group.

Steven McCluskey, medical device and aerospace manager at emsPT, from Glasgow, U.K., asked: “What is the biggest challenge facing medical device manufacturers today?

In his poll, he provided five choices:

  • Reducing the cost of compliance
  • Bringing new devices to market quicker
  • Improving customer supply and satisfaction
  • Reducing overall cost of goods
  • Other

Not surprisingly, a majority of poll respondents (112, including me, so far) selected the second option, while an equal number (23) of people chose either “reducing the overall cost of goods” or “reducing the cost of compliance” as the toughest challenge for medical device makers.

Yet, there were some thoughtful responses from those who likely chose the “other” option.

Talisman Murphy, managing director, Brckenkopf GmbH in Germany, pointed to the problem posed by different regulatory rules in different markets.

Yuri Sokolov, president at Falcon Business Development in Canada, took a more macro approach in talking about the “challenging economic times, budget cuts and austerity measures, reimbursement cuts, and lower discretionary customer incomes.”

And Michael Cremeans, life sciences practice leader from the Cleveland, Ohio area, pointed to the challenge posed by the ability to manage information: “Think about how many departments in a company are affected by, or need information from, an incident — legal, regulatory, financial, quality, risk management, sales, training, design, production AND THEN THERE’S THE FDA REPORTING!”

To read more, consider joining the group.

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