The hearing is part of the preparation of an own-initiative opinion on the biomedical engineering and care services.
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Health and related sectors are a central aspect of human existence and thus attract particular attention of citizens. The sectors of biomedical engineering and the medical and care services industry – including research and development – are among the fastest growing industrial areas, in terms of turnover as well as employment. Under biomedical engineering we understand the bridging between methods of engineering and medicine and biology for diagnostic and therapeutic measures in healthcare – including, among others, biologics and biopharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical drugs, various types of devices for chemical or biological analysis or processing as well as the development of medical equipment and technology for cure, treatment and prevention of disease. The combination of research and development, engineering and industrial production, and medical and care services is particularly important.
Due to the increased need for cost-efficient procedures and the pressure on public expenditure, the European market for pharmaceutical products is less dynamic than in the past. This high-technology sector is faced with the following challenges: austerity measures introduced by European governments, rapid growth in the market and research in emerging economies, and migration of economic, research and development activities outside of Europe.