19 Apr 2013, Saptarshi Chaudhuri, BioSpectrum
Medical Technology Industry Association of New Zealand (MTANZ) represents manufacturers and suppliers of medical technology in New Zealand, which are used in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and management of disease and disability. MTANZ, which was first established in 1979, has continued to represent the medical technology industry at the highest level with government and the healthcare sector. MTANZ promotes policies for a legal, regulatory and economic environment to advance access to innovative medical technologies.
Ms Faye Sumner, CEO, Medical Technology Industry Association of New Zealand (MTANZ), New Zealand, speaks about the major developments and activities of the association over the past two years. Excerpts from the interview:
What are the major focus areas of MTANZ? What is the total number of members and what is the eligibility to become a member?
Advocacy for establishing a registration process for devices being placed on the NZ market and engaged with the development of public procurement policy is the main focus area of MTANZ. We have a total of 112 member companies in our association.
To become a member, the organization should consist of those persons which are engaged in the trade of importing, manufacturing and/or supplying surgical and/or diagnostic and/or medical and/or dental products in New Zealand and elsewhere in the world or should be involved in research into and/or development of such surgical and/or diagnostic and/or medical and/or dental products. Also organizations that have sufficient interest in such matters as aforesaid to warrant admission to membership of the MTANZ society and as may from time to time can be admitted to membership.
What is the number of MNCs and domestic companies in the industry? How many new domestic companies have been formed in the last two years?
The ratio of the number of MNC and importing / distributor NZ domestic companies is about 50/50. No new companies have been formed in last two years that are known about by MTANZ. Furthermore, NZ has a growing manufacturing/export medtech sector of 60 companies.
What is the market size of the medical technology industry in NZ?
The market size of the medical technology sector is about NZD1.4 billion. Also, we export NZD 600 million worth of goods every year.
Could you kindly elaborate on the major industry-related developments that have taken place in the last two years?
In terms of policy regulations, NZ is exploring the possibility of a Trans-Tasman joint therapeutic agency with Australia (ANZTPA), which is expected to be established by July 2016. On the front of procurement, NZ is undergoing major changes to the way the public hospitals procure devices with the process to be centralized with PHARMAC (government buying agency) which will undertake assessment, priotization and funding of all hospitals devices beginning in 2015. A new agency has also been set up, National Health Committee to establish a process for health technology assessment.
What are the major challenges faced by the industry and how is the association helping the industry to deal with the hurdles?
The major challenge has been establishing a joint agency with Australia that will impose considerable costs on NZ companies. The changes to the procurement of devices will be highly competitive for the companies. MTANZ Board has developed a strategic plan with an advocacy plan that is underway to ensure engagement at the highest level to ensure what is put in place is in the best interests of NZ The consultation process is underway on both projects.