Medical Device Coatings on the RiseThe global market for medical device coatings is expected to grow to $6.3 billion by the end of 2014 and $9 billion in 2019, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% from 2014 to 2019, according to a recent report from BCC Research. Against a backdrop of regulatory uncertainty, the industry has been forced to confront the unanticipated change in company business models as long-established suppliers renounce their American roots and flee to more tax-friendly European countries.

Despite formidable regulatory and economic challenges, the industry is expected to recover from a slowdown in demand triggered by persistent high unemployment in the U.S. and reductions in healthcare spending worldwide. The U.S. alone will reportedly record a CAGR of 8.9% from $3.1 billion in 2014 to $4.9 billion in 2019.

To a greater or lesser degree, coatings are used in medical devices required by healthcare providers worldwide, and across the full spectrum of medical specialties. The medical device coating business has become a valuable contributor to improving healthcare. However, coatings suppliers have entered a period of heightened uncertainty created by announced but yet unspecified changes in federal regulations that cover how new medical devices are evaluated prior to being permitted to be sold in the U.S., the largest and most profitable of the world’s healthcare markets.

Within the last decade, coated medical devices have come into their own as a distinct category of products that produce clinically recognizable improvements to medical treatments and surgical interventions. Coatings that enhance biocompatibility have improved the quality of implanted electronic devices and artificial joints. Antimicrobial-coated catheters and examining room surfaces have become front-line defenses against antibiotic-resistant infections.

“Although there are many billion-dollar giants, the medical device industry that produces coatings and coated products also relies heavily upon smaller companies,” said James Wilson, technology analyst. “That [medical device coatings] specialized area has become essential across nearly the full spectrum of healthcare products for large and small medical device manufacturers.”

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