Outlook for Medical R&D Spending Positive

Originally Published MDDI January 2004R&D DIGEST

January 1, 2004

2 Min Read
Outlook for Medical R&D Spending Positive

Originally Published MDDI January 2004


By Jules Duga, Senior Analyst, Battelle (Columbus, OH)

The following is based on findings related to the medical industry in the 2004 R&D Forecast, a joint effort of Battelle (Columbus, OH) and R&D Magazine.

A preliminary overview of the R&D expenditures in a number of sectors related to medical instrumentation indicates two factors of special interest. First, an analysis of the 1998–2002 period suggests that there has been a reasonably steady growth of R&D expenditures by publicly held companies, even when considered in terms of constant dollars. Furthermore, projections of future R&D expenditures also indicate a continued growth for the next few years. That, of course, could change based on a number of factors.

These observations contrast with the overall rate of growth of industrial R&D investment in recent years. Following rather significant increases in expenditures, the past few years have seen a major slowing of that rate of growth, so much so that real dollar investment has been nearly stagnant. Furthermore, there have not yet been any indications of a major change in that trend. However, data provided by Schonfeld & Associates (Riverwood, IL) suggest that the fields related to medical instrumentation will be bucking that trend over the near term.

The broad field of medical research represents one of the most vivid examples of the manner in which research and development form a continuum among various elements of the total R&D enterprise. The chain from basic research, as funded by the federal government, to the applied research and development carried through by industry, on to the delivery system and the ultimate benefactor represents a series of transitions that is at least as direct as in any other area of scientific discovery and the deployment of results. This chain spans the spectrum from consideration of the basic understanding of processes through the definition of treatment protocols to the design and development of the tools for administration of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

The major challenges to the industry include the need to identify the most efficacious manner of working with the “farm system” and to identify the types of programs and projects that will provide the basis for the most effective future research and development. The acquisition of technological assets, and the comparative analyses of the manner in which this process moves forth, are continuing responsibilities within the industry. 

Copyright ©2004 Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry

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