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The Global Medical Device Market Offers Export Opportunities for PA Companies

Thought Leader
Aging populations, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and rising health care costs—sound familiar? These factors drive health care spending, not just in the United States, but in many other countries around the world. Developed and developing countries alike seek advanced technologies to improve patient outcomes while decreasing health care costs. According to Business Monitor International’s Worldwide Medical Devices Market Forecast, the global medical device market is projected to grow 18 percent from $376.5 billion in 2018 to $445.8 billion in 2021.  U.S. medical device exports are highly competitive and offer an opportunity for Pennsylvania’s and the region’s medical device companies to increase sales, grow jobs and maintain their competitive advantage.  Pennsylvania’s top medical device export markets closely mirror those of the United States to include Canada, Japan and the European Union. The estimated total value of Pennsylvania’s medical device exports was $527.2 million in 2017, accounting for about two percent of the nation’s $26.5 billion in estimated total medical device exports (values based on HTS 9018). Given its geographic proximity, it is not surprising that the United States is the largest exporter of medical devices to Canada. Pennsylvania is one of the top five state exporters of medical devices to our northern neighbor, accounting for about $95.9 million in estimated total exports in 2017. U.S. medical device exporters compete with global brands from Germany, Japan and the Netherlands. Competition from Mexico and China is growing as these markets move from the production of low-technology to mid-technology products. Just as the medical device market is highly regulated in the United States, it is highly regulated around the world, too. Regulatory and reimbursement requirements, high tariffs, intellectual property rights protections and increasing global competition are some of the barriers faced by U.S. medical device companies seeking to enter new markets. Finding a reputable and well-positioned in-country partner can help U.S. companies navigate some of these challenges. This is where the U.S. Commercial Service can help. 
"Pennsylvania’s top medical device export markets closely mirror those of the United States to include Canada, Japan and the European Union." 
The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration. Through the combined efforts of the industry and country specialists that comprise the International Trade Administration, we have developed key resources to help U.S. medical device exporters identify top markets and explore individual country market entry information:  • The International Trade Administration’s Top Markets Report for Medical Devices (available at examines 57 markets in terms of U.S. export history, forecasted market risk and rewards, and market size, and • The 2018 Healthcare Technologies Resource Guide (available at provides a matrix of projected successes of sub-sector exports and country-specific snapshots that include market entry, market barriers, market trends, competition and trade shows for more than 70 countries.  The U.S. Commercial Service facilitates hands-on business-to-business matchmaking with qualified foreign buyers at major international health care trade shows such as Medica (Germany), Arab Health (UAE), Hospitalar (Brazil) and the China International Medical Equipment Fair (CMEF). Through our global network of health care trade professionals, we disseminate international trade leads to responsive U.S. exporters. If country-specific standards are negatively impacting your ability to export to a market, we can work with you to address non-tariff trade barriers.  Last year, the U.S. Commercial Service counseled more than 1,600 health care companies on how to grow their exports, with most of our clients being small businesses. The U.S. Commercial Service Pittsburgh office can help you identify target markets through in-depth market research, find qualified partners overseas, provide advice on regulatory standards and IPR issues, and connect you to global business opportunities.  This office serves as the conduit into the U.S. Commercial Service’s global network of health care trade specialists located in more than 75 countries. With the right planning, exporting can help you grow your business, and the U.S. Commercial Service can help you speed your time to market by providing export counseling, market intelligence, customized business matchmaking and commercial diplomacy services. LeeAnne Haworth can be reached at or (412) 644-2816.   For more insight on exporting, please visit