At their annual general meetings on 12 June 2017, the two largest Swiss medical technology organizations agreed to merge and form the new Swiss Medtech association
Swiss Medtech represents more than 550 members in its role as industry association for Swiss medical technology. With 58,500 employees and a contribution of 13.5% to the positive trade balance, medical technology is an economically significant sector in Switzerland. Swiss Medtech advocates for conditions that enable the medtech industry to perform at peak capacity and provide first-class medical care.
Both organizations have been preparing intensively for the founding of Swiss Medtech for over a year now. The core areas have also been strengthened in terms of personnel. Peter Biedermann, Managing Director, and his deputy Joerg Baumann, General Counsel, will lead the Swiss Medtech administrative office. They are supported by Peter Studer (formerly of Swissmedic) in the «Legal, Compliance and Reimbursement» department. Acting as Senior Expert Regulation, he will be responsible for the establishment of a MDR / IVDR Swiss Implementation Taskforce which will inform members and organize seminars on a regular basis. The introduction of two new EU regulations for medical devices (MDR) and in vitro diagnostics (IVDR) will occupy the entire medical technology sector over the next few years. Another key project for the association will be to support its members in implementing the Swiss Medtech Code. This was developed by the industry and defines the minimum requirements for ethical business conduct when collaborating with medical professionals and institutions.
Increasing regulations and cost pressure
A growing flood of regulation, as well as rising cost and price pressures, are increasing the demands on the medtech industry. In addition, many advantages that the Swiss workplace enjoyed to-date are currently being diminished by difficult framework conditions. Problems associated with the Swiss franc, delays with corporate tax reform, the worsening labour force deficit, and the necessary bilateral negotiations with the EU are creating competitive disadvantages for the export-oriented industry. The timely adoption of the two new EU regulations into Swiss legislation is an important prerequisite for the continued free movement of goods with Europe.
Ensuring rapid access to innovations
Swiss Medtech is committed to safeguarding international trade and research exchange. The focus is also on the reduction of pointless red tape – in order to ensure patients have timely access to innovations. As it now stands, it can take ten years to market launch and another five before reimbursement of new therapies and products is approved by the health insurance companies. The association is in constant dialogue with partner organizations, the authorities, educational institutions as well as representatives from politics, business, and science with regard to these industry and healthcare-related issues.
With its 20 Expert Groups, the association is dedicated to ensuring an attractive Swiss medtech workplace for research and education, and providing high-quality and safe healthcare. Member company experts help establish and develop implant registers and tariff systems. They also collaborate with hospitals to promote e-business in purchasing, develop specific training and further education, as well as impart best practices (ex. for process optimisation).
Inform, advise, educate, and network
Swiss Medtech supports and advises its members on regulatory, legal, and collective bargaining issues, and provides regular updates on the latest economic and political developments. The association also offers targeted education programmes, export-promoting services, and supportive measures for entrepreneurship. Further activities include organizing events and meetings – such as tomorrow’s Swiss Medtech Day, together with the Commission for Technology and Innovation CTI – and the continuing development of the national Medtech portal. Networking within the industry will also remain an important focus of the association.
The SMTI Sector Study, conducted by Swiss Medtech and the consulting company Helbling, provides an important foundation and analysis of the Swiss medtech industry.
Swiss Medtech represents around 700 members in its role as industry association for Swiss medical technology. With 63,000 employees and a contribution of 16.4% to the positive trade balance, medical technology is an economically significant sector in Switzerland. Swiss Medtech advocates for conditions that enable the medtech industry to perform at peak capacity and provide first-class medical care.