Innovating within Constraints: What Med Device Designers and Manufacturers in Developed Markets Can Learn from Emerging Markets

In innovation, medical device by Cressida MurrayLeave a Comment

This is an excerpt from an interview Generis Group did with Palani Palaniappan, EVP, Innovation & Development at Terumo BCT in advance of the 2017 American Medical Device Summit, where Palani spoke on “The Democratization of Healthcare Technologies”. Read the full interview here. “Often when we create products for the developed world, we think about value for money: creating value to charge a high premium. In the developing world, we should not be thinking about high premiums. We need to think about value for many: it is a high volume business where prices and profit margins are low. We need to be thrifty in product development and innovate within these constraints. Constraints feed creativity. In developing markets we are challenged to ensure we create an affordable product. But developed markets also face price constraints—more and more so. Western markets are becoming saturated. Affordability and accessibility of healthcare is a challenge worldwide in every market. We’ve heard this many times now—it’s become the common sentiment of the populist way of thinking: “Healthcare is too expensive. Drug prices are being controlled. Device prices are being controlled.” And it’s true! Against the backdrop of people living longer and population growth, it is not sustainable to continue serving developed markets with high-premium products. In India and several other emerging economies, there is extreme price control on medical devices, those classified as “essential medical devices.” For instance, the cost of a stent has been forced …

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