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Healthcare Resource Guide: France




Market Entry

Current Market Trends

Main Competitors

Current Demand

Registration Process

Trade Events

CS Contact

Capital: Paris

Population: 67 million
USD 2.27 trillion
Euro (€)
: French




2015 (estimated)



Total Market Size




Total Local Production




Total Exports




Total Imports




Imports From the U.S.




Exchange Rate: USD1.00




Total market demand in France for medical equipment was estimated at USD 7.327 billion in 2015, with imports accounting for USD 3.824 billion. Imports from the United States were forecast at USD 1.262 billion, or 30 percent of total imports. This percentage is expected to remain approximately the same over the next three years, with overall demand growing at three percent annually.

France ranks among the top five largest medical device markets in the world. France spends three percent of total health expenditure on medical equipment and supplies and 0.3 percent of GDP, which is average for a West European country. The overall market is generally well developed, however certain sub-sectors in the more innovative forms of technology still present opportunities for entry. While the public sector is the largest purchaser of diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical equipment, the private sector is also a very dynamic player.

The continuing deficit of the national health insurance funds has prompted new measures to control spending on medical devices, similar to those already in force for pharmaceuticals.

Market Entry

To export medical devices to France, a foreign producer should have an agent/distributor. Medical devices in the French market whether it be for imported products or domestically manufactured lines are subject to the following requirements:

  • Medical devices have to obtain the CE mark.
  • Medical devices have to have Directions for use enclosed in the French.

Current Market Trends

The medical market is likely to only to see moderate growth, rising from USD 7.327 billion in 2015 to USD 8.557 billion by 2020. The medical manufacturing industry has seen an entry of foreign companies; larger manufacturers are now subsidiaries of multinational groups. With flagging domestic production in several sectors the French medical device market is increasingly reliant upon imports, which now account for around 50 percent of consumption.

Main Competitors

U.S. companies can expect to face competition in this market from major global suppliers such as Siemens, Fresenius, Hitachi, Toshiba, Philips, Smith & Nephew as well as from French players such as Air Liquide, Asklé Santé, Coloplast, Landanger, Mediprema, Moria, Paul Hartmann, Peters Surgical, Proteor, Systam, Thuasne. France is home to many subsidiaries of American companies such as Abbott Vascular, Alcon, BD, Boston Scientific, 3M Santé, Baxter, Edwards Lifesciences, GE Medical, Johnson & Johnson Ethicon, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, St. Jude Medical and Zimmer.

Current Demand

Diagnostic Equipment

The diagnostic sub-sector represents 35 percent of the total medical equipment market. State-of-the-art diagnostic medical imaging systems are in great demand. Applications for this technology already exist for pediatrics, cardio-vascular care, digestion, urology, and spinal/nerve treatment. As it is well accepted and effective, the demand for this type of technology will continue to grow. Health care professionals are very optimistic about a feature of medical imagery equipment known as "image networking." This will dramatically improve diagnostics by providing an image data bank that would enable a specialist to compare the image of a current case to hundreds of previous cases.


This sub-sector represents 26 percent of the total medical equipment market. It includes all types of disposable medical products. The increasing elderly population reinforces the demand for all kinds of disposable equipment and supplies such as incontinence products and care kits used by nurses and families for home-care.


The surgery instrument and supplies sub-sectors represent approximately 17 percent of the total sector. Recent developments in the non-invasive surgery field could have a strong impact on everyday hospital practice. These latest advances offer superior results and also present a significantly reduced risk to patients.

Technical aids

The French market for medical prosthesis, 8 percent of the total medical equipment market, is characterized by a strong potential for innovative internal prosthesis such as knees, hips, ligaments, and elbows, and with a slightly decreasing market for external prosthesis. Technological evolution, especially in the field of anesthesia, offers the potential for rapid changes in this market.

Intensive care

Intensive care equipment such as respiratory monitoring, pumps and incubators represent about 8 percent of the total medical equipment market. Intensive care equipment includes the latest technological advances. Both public and private hospitals show a rising demand for intensive care equipment and supplies.


The hygiene sub-sector represents approximately 6 percent of the total medical equipment sector. Patient and medical personnel safety is of growing concern to both members of the medical profession and the public. Best sales prospects will certainly focus around assuring stringent personnel safety requirements. This is especially due to the concern regarding AIDS and other contagious diseases. In the future, prevention should receive similar emphasis considering the present focus on protection.


There are no significant barriers on healthcare products in France.

Registration Process

All medical device sold in France have to carry the CE Mark. Registering with the French Ministry of Health is to be addressed on a case by case basis. In the very best interest of any U.S. exporter, and in the vast majority of cases, this task is handled by the importer / distributor. Indeed, a previous experience of successful registration of products with the French Ministry of Health will be a critical factor of success in order to facilitate access to end users in France.

Trade Events


Les SALONS de la

SANTE et de


May 24-26, 2016

PARIS - Porte de Versailles

U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information

Name: Alain Levy
Senior Commercial Specialist
: +33 (0) 1 43 12 70 14

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