Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade » Healthcare sector to invest in new markets, technologies over next few years

Some 83 percent of polled healthcare executives plan to invest in new global markets and new technologies over the next three to five years to increase competitiveness, maintain product integrity, and gain efficiencies, according to a United Parcel Service (UPS) survey.

The top four countries eyed for expansion efforts over the next few years are China, the United States, Brazil, and India.

While planning investments, healthcare decision-makers remain “cautious” in their industry outlook, citing as challenges a difficult economic environment, pressures to reduce costs, and struggles with increasing regulations and reform.

These findings are culled from the fifth annual UPS “Pain in the (Supply) Chain” healthcare survey of senior-level healthcare supply chain decision-makers in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device and supply companies in the U.S., Western Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

The top barrier to global expansion is country regulations, cited by 46 percent of the executives. Other barriers include intellectual property protection concerns and product quality and security concerns, cited by 33 percent and 27 percent of executives, respectively.

“Healthcare companies are feeling the pressure to expand and drive new growth while containing costs and ensuring compliance around the globe,” said Bill Hook, vice president for global strategy of UPS Healthcare Logistics. “That has only heightened the need to build more global flexibility, integration and transformation into the healthcare supply chain.”

Some 65 percent of respondents listed regulatory compliance as their top specific supply chain concern, followed by cost management (60 percent), and product security and product integrity (57 percent).

“Concerns around regulatory compliance and cost management have been constants for healthcare supply chain decision-makers over the past five years while we’ve seen growth in concern around areas such as product security and product protection,” said Scott Szwast, UPS Healthcare Segment marketing director.

“The five-year survey trends underscore what we are hearing from all segments of the healthcare marketplace,” said Hook. “Healthcare companies are looking for ways to be more collaborative, provide integrated solutions and address segmentation issues around their customers.”

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