US Commercial Services

Mark Weisbrod
US Commercial Services

“2020 is still a good time to focus on U.S. medical device sales.”

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MEDICAL DEVICE SALES IN THE UNITED STATES UNDER COVID-19

How the market continues to function and grow during the epidemic

Published July 24, 2020

PLANNING DURING A PANDEMIC

Uncertainty.  If there is one word that best describes the global outlook during the 2020 pandemic this might be one that everyone can agree on.  Each day we are bombarded on all sides with facts, opinions, myths, speculations, rosy scenarios, dire warnings and everything in between.  Even listening to expert opinions can leave us in a confused state as to how we should proceed as a society.  In this age of information, huge waves of data bombards us at warp speeds in an overwhelming maelstrom of numbers, trends, and analysis.  Unfortunately, those whose job it is to parse this information into digestible chunks can take the same data and come to radically different conclusions.  The result – uncertainty.

THE SITUATION IN THE U.S.

When it comes to the U.S. and global medical device industry, it’s no different.  Obviously, medical devices and supplies are unique in the time of Covid-19 because the industry is at the very nexus of worldwide healthcare, with the supply chain of ventilators, PPE, etc at the top of headlines virtually everyday.   But what if our company’s products don’t directly address issues connected with the virus, what should we do?  Or if I’m a foreign-based supplier of medical devices, looking to penetrate the U.S. market for the first time, what is my best course of action?  We here at Asia Actual get asked this question every day, and frankly, are asking these very same questions to those in key leadership positions in the U.S. Healthcare market.  And the most common feedback we receive is “the U.S. device industry is open for business.” But don’t just take our word for it. Read and listen to the marketplace.

FROM REUTERS: J&J RAISES FORECAST AFTER QUARTERLY PROFIT BEATS ESTIMATES

J.P. Morgan analyst Chris Schott said (hip and knee replacements) seem to be benefiting from a faster-than-expected rebound in these procedures.

“Johnson & Johnson raised its full-year profit forecast and beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly earnings on Thursday …”

FROM FORTUNE BUSINESS INSIGHTS

“COVID-19 is expected to have a short-term impact on the global medical devices market but the long-term impact is projected to be minimal to none”

FROM HEALTH RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL (HRI)

Suzanne Ratzloff (President of HRI), “ … Ratzloff holds firm on a strong recovery, reporting that “fortunately, all of the markets will recover to normal levels or above, albeit some more slowly than others due to capacity and manpower constraints along with economic factors … and markets such as respiratory devices and infection control products, will see massive gains through the end of the pandemic.”

OPPORTUNITIES HIDDEN IN THE WEEDS

In assessing the health of the U.S. device marketplace, the overwhelming majority of producers and suppliers are expecting strong 4th quarter returns. Additionally, companies who specialize in products that are reliant upon elective surgeries (ex. Orthopedics) are looking at a “bounce-back” recovery in Q1 2021 due to patients scheduling procedures previously postponed during the spring and summer months 2020.

OK, you may ask, companies that already have products established in the U.S. feel like their sales are going to bounce back. But what about the development of new products, is there a fall off in bringing new products into the market? It turns out, not so much. We took a look at FDA data related to processing market submissions and approvals, specifically comparing 2019 with 2020. What we found was interesting – combining 501K, Pre-market Authorizations (PMA), and De Novo classifications, the FDA processed more applications in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, not even including the 220 devices cleared via the Emergency Use Authorization process.

CONCLUSION: PLAN FOR NEW GROWTH TOMORROW

The conclusion that we draw is that through the peaks and valleys of this unprecedented epidemic, medical device companies are not only weathering the storm, but are ramping up in anticipation of spikes in demand in the coming months. The U.S. government isn’t slowing down at all in processing and approving new technologies, companies with existing U.S. footprints are ramping up for increases in sales, and companies with innovative solutions remain bullish on the U.S. market. Time to jump aboard!

CONTACT ASIA ACTUAL TODAY

If you’re a medical device manufacturer wishing to establish or improve sales in the US market, Asia Actual, from our US headquarters has experienced professionals that can help you understand the US hospital landscape and develop successful sales strategies. Contact Asia Actual for a free consultation.