Nearly 6000 device companies comprise an industry with an estimated worldwide market of $140 billion. Eighty percent of these companies have fewer than 50 employees, with the 17 largest manufacturers capturing 65% of the total market. (3. U.S. Medical Devices Market Outlook. A404-54. New York: Frost & Sullivan, 2003:1-15-1-16). The 2003 medical device market in the United States alone was $63.2 billion. Venture capital plays a crucial role in the funding and advancement of the device industry, allowing individual inventors to develop and market their products. Conversely, the pharmaceutical industry is driven by a handful of multibillion-dollar global corporations.
The innovation life cycle for medical devices continues to shorten, as new and better technologies become readily available. Physicians are also quicker to adopt new, innovative devices and procedures than they once were.
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