|Last Quarterly Update:||4/8/2013|
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Companies in this industry distribute professional medical equipment, instruments, and supplies to physicians, hospitals, and extended care facilities. Major companies include Henry Schein, Owens & Minor, Patterson Companies, and PSS World Medical (all based in the US), along with Amplifon (Italy), DICIPA (Mexico), and EBOS Group (Australia).
Worldwide, major markets for medical equipment and supplies include the US, Japan, Germany, France, and Italy. National distributors generally participate in international markets either through their foreign subsidiaries or through joint ventures with local companies. The medical equipment wholesale industry has been consolidating; many companies are gaining footholds in overseas markets by acquiring companies in targeted international markets.
The US medical equipment and supplies distribution industry includes about 7,000 companies with combined annual revenue of about $130 billion. Moderate growth is forecast for the next two years. Key growth drivers include demand for medical treatment, which is expected to increase as the population ages and more people gain access to health insurance.
Demand depends on the number of people receiving medical treatment. The profitability of individual companies depends on merchandising and efficient delivery systems. Large companies have economies of scale in purchasing, and highly developed infrastructure that allow for efficient distribution. Small companies can compete effectively by specializing in a product line or servicing a local customer base. The US industry is concentrated: the top 50 companies account for about 70 percent of revenue.
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