ITALY - Medical Device Industry and Demographic Data

Shown below you will find some basic demographic and economic data, plus information specific to the medical device and healthcare industry.

Capital city: Rome

Total area: 301 263 km²

Population: 60.8 million

Currency: euro

Language: Italian

Structure of population:
0-14 years: 14%
15-64 years: 65%
65 years and over: 21% (2011 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Male: 79 years
Female: 84 years

Healthcare expenditures total (% of GDP): 9.4%

Healthcare expenditures per capita: $3323 (USD)

Expenditures on healthcare:
Government: 78%*
Private: 22%**

Number of hospitals: 1295 (2005 data)

Healthcare financing: Inpatient services are reimbursed via the DRG system and outpatient services via the so-called Positive List of Services.

Medical device industry: The Italian medical device market is the third largest in Europe with a market share of 11% of the total European production. Italy consumes about 16% (€4.2 billion in 2005) of total EU consumption (€27 billion in total) making it the second largest consumer of medical devices and disposables in the EU. Italian consumption has been increasing at an average annual rate of 2%. In contrast, production has been decreasing at an average of 1% per year. Exports of medical devices in 2002 - 2006 increased with 18 %. Its strength is in vitro diagnostics, biomedical technologies and laboratory products that is valued at more than €7 billion. The industry is characterized by small to medium-sized companies mainly located in the Northern and Central part of the country. More than 70% of the companies have a turnover of less than €20 million. The Italian Government is the primary purchaser of medical devices (77% of sales). The private healthcare sector account for 23% of sales. Threats: New regulations on medical devices (2007) might make it difficult for the National Health Service to perceive the advantages of efficiency and performance in some medical devices. This might result that hospitals would concentrate too much on the purchase price of medical devices. Long-lasting critical aspects such as payment delays and excessive bureaucracy during the supply phase.

Medical device distributors in Italy: Italy is one of the few markets where you have sales representatives (the so-called "traveling salesmen") similar to the US market. You also have local medical device distributors but they usually only sell in their own region. For other regions they work with sub-distributors or sales representatives. There are only a few medical distributors who cover the whole country with their own sales people. Most of the medical device industry is located in the North of the country.

* Government expenditures include all spending on healthcare passed through governmental agencies regardless of the funding source. Source: World Health Organization global health expenditure database. 2010 data.
** Private healthcare expenditures include private medical insurance, direct out-of-pocket payments by the consumer and other non-governmental sources. Source: World Health Organization global health expenditure database. 2010 data.