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8th June 2021

New regulations of European Union isolate Swiss medtech

Switzerland will no longer have free access to the EU single market due to failure of adapting to Medical Device Regulation

After enjoying free trade access to the EU market through bilateral agreements since 2002, failed negotiations on the new Medical Device Regulations (MDR) have seen Switzerland drop out without a deal this week. The MDR draft of 2018 would have demanded Switzerland to further adopt EU single market rules, which saw a significant opposition among the Swiss population.
Future contracts will treat Switzerland as a third-party country, the same status as the UK, marking a stark break in the relationship. According to MedTech Dive, Swiss Medtech stated medtech has become a tactical ball in the political game, after having warned the public of a hard split back in 2018 when the MDR draft was presented.
Fears have arisen that this schism will greatly impact Swiss competitiveness in the industry. While the immediate financial effects might be bearable, the higher costs of company foundation could deter start-ups from basing their ventures in Switzerland, and the country will lose investment attractiveness.
Dr Beat Volanthen, president of Swiss Medtech, stated according to MedTech Dive:
“We hope that the last word has not yet been spoken. Both sides must be interested in a pragmatic solution to maintain seamless patient care in Switzerland and the EU. I expect politicians to put the health care of their own people above tactical negotiating interests”

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