How Your Vote in the Election Could Affect the Medical Device Industry

03 May 2015


Election fever is upon us in the UK! Red, Blue, Yellow, Purple or Green they all result in change & opportunities for the medical device market.

The majority of the med-tech market falls under the political beast that is the NHS. With so much focus & political opinion on the NHS, we wonder what effects a new government could have on the medical device market?

Labour's manifesto suggests they tend to focus on early diagnostics which is a great opportunity for innovation within the diagnostic sphere. This could potentially lead to a slow down for emergency procedures & technology & cardiovascular disease products.  Faster oncology results could increase spend on treatments, electro chemotherapy devices & surgical procedures.

What if we choose 50 shades of Blue?! Under Cameron, decentralisation has already begun. Local budgets could mean a change to grouped procurement spending power & care providers. Localised budgets could open up more opportunities for niche providers & a boom in homecare. Regionally focused SME’s & companies with strong logistics could excel.

The Conservatives have suggested a 7 day week for GP’s. Could this put a stress on the quality of GP service? Both incorrect diagnosis & higher patient turnover could lead to a rise in emergency, surgical & cardiovascular cure devices & consequently, a rise in market domination for those med-tech companies.

The Lib Dems gained their highest result at the 2010 election suggesting the electorate’s momentum for Lib Dem policy. However, the impact of the Coalition with a Tory government appears to have left a sour taste in voter’s mouths. If Clegg turns it around, their focus seems to be around mental health & addiction.  Medical Device companies with a neurology focus could benefit; though could an increase in services  drive down trauma device spend due to alcohol related injuries?

The rise & coverage surrounding UKIP in recent times is undeniable. Though it’s highly unlikely Farage would take the Premier seat, it’s still interesting to explore the impact UKIP policy would have on the med-tech industry. They could push for an American style healthcare system. This would create a windfall for medical device companies who could push costs up; though whether this would actually lead to an increase in profits due to reduced demand is hard to tell. UKIP would likely cause big changes in the medical device market especially for multinationals.

To EU or not to EU? That is the question. If we stay, export within the EU should remain & UK manufacturers should retain existing profit. European business would likely continue at current momentum, leaving a steady Medical Sales job market here. If we leave Europe, the pound may strengthen against the Euro. Great for holidaying; not so great for UK medical device exports. Though, importing med-tech into the UK from Europe could potentially benefit NHS with a possible cost saving.

This is a huge topic & we’we have barely scratched surface. However you look at it, all outcomes will have consequences for the medical device industry so make sure your vote counts on the 7th May!

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? We’d love to hear about it!  

Tim Lawrie, Founder & Managing Director, Projectus Consulting.