The diagnostics sector generally operates in highly regulated markets where laboratory diagnostics are often seen as a cost factor, regardless of their wider economic benefits. “Increasing price pressure in the market pushes down the margins,” Borst notes. “This is due to comprehensive quotations and reduced reimbursements for laboratory services.” The VDGH is calling for an overall economic, technology and health policy strategy that would allow its members to take full advantage of the health care system’s growth and employment potential.
R&D is Germany’s strength
Employment in the IVD sector is expected to have increased slightly in 2016. Forty per cent of the companies surveyed are intending to hire more staff. Customer service, sales and marketing specialists are particularly sought after. Because the IVD sector is one of the most innovative in Germany, it also employs more than 12 per cent of its workforce in R&D. More than 10 per cent of revenues are spent on R&D, making the sector second only to pharmaceuticals and putting it ahead of the automotive and electrical engineering industries.
Plans by the German government to streamline licensing and testing procedures are expected to have a further positive effect on IVD R&D investment. Overall, Germany’s highly innovative IVD companies are in a strong position to increase their share of this highly lucrative market in the years to come.