EMDT_European Medical Device Technology

European Medical Device Technology, Spring 2014

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32 | Spring 2014 European Medical Device Technology emdt.co.uk markets Opportunities Abound in Brazil's Medical Device Market—But Expect Delays Demand for improved healthcare and changing demographics make Brazil's medtech market ripe for targeting. But registration and admittance procedures pose distinct barriers to market entry. A s one of the high-profile BRIC countries, Brazil boasts an increas- ingly alluring medical technology market that has captured the attention of foreign medical device manufacturers. In fact, the Latin-American giant currently imports 60% of its medical equipment— amounting to US$1.9 billion—while the first half of 2013 experienced a sizable increase of almost 20% compared with the same period of the previous year. Further boosting Brazil's appeal is the mounting investment by public and private facilities to meet the demand for improved healthcare for the country's 200-million inhabitants. But despite the region's notable growth, experience has shown that the difficult registration and admittance procedures can make it difficult to exploit the market's full potential, especially for small and medium- sized companies. A Nation of Change The population's growing resentment over the lack of proper medical treatment in public hospitals was one of the many fac- tors that galvanized Brazilians to take to the streets during the much-publicized June 2013 protests. Since then, the government has announced numerous reforms of the public healthcare system, Unified Health System (SUS). But aside from short-term responses—such as the "Mais Médicos" program, meant to attract foreign doctors to address the shortage of trained medics in remote areas—it has yet to deliver real reform. Like most of the emerging markets, Brazil is also facing rapid demographic changes, particularly around a ballooning ageing population. Even though popula- tions in Latin America are overall still young compared with most European countries, Brazil has seen a permanent increase in those aged 65 years and older; in 2011, they accounted for 7.2% of the population. Improved living conditions and a grow- ing, more affluent middle class have increased life expectancy. But they have also spurred a rise in lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes. In fact, Brazil Stephanie von Meien, Germany Trade and Invest, Berlin ES430867_EMDT1405_032.pgs 04.29.2014 03:32 UBM black yellow magenta cyan

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