El emplear de Medtech es constante

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | August 12, 2014
Elizabeth Cairns
Despite the decline in mergers and acquisitions, the ongoing pressure on price efficiency and the drop in U.S. device approvals, most medical device makers have increased their workforce this past year, according to a recent EP Vantage report.

"It is somewhat surprising that medtech companies didn’t feel the need for large staff cuts in a tricky environment," Elizabeth Cairns, author of the report and medtech reporter at EP Vantage, wrote to DOTmed News. "I suspect this is because the companies are finding efficiencies elsewhere."

Out of the top 15 medtech companies, Baxter International Inc. had the highest rate of hiring. It acquired Gambro AB for $4 billion, which brought in an extra 8,000 employees, and they had an overall increase of 10,000 employees from 2012 to 2013.

However, they may lose their spot at number one because they plan to spin off their biotechnology operations and vaccines business. But it won't affect job numbers until the divestments come to an end in 2015.

Even though Intuitive Surgical, Inc.'s share crashed in the middle of the year, they had the second highest rate of hiring. Its sales have been falling and its Da Vinci robotic surgery systems are reported to be less safe and less cost-effective than standard surgeon-performed operations, according to the report.

Despite that, the company hired 28 salespeople in 2013, which is a 30 percent increase. Their increase in hiring may be due to the feeling that by increasing their sales force it would bring their revenue up, according to the report.

The third fastest hiring company is Stryker Corporation. They purchased Trauson Holdings Company Limited, a trauma specialist, and Mako Surgical Corp., a surgical robotic company, which added almost 3,000 new employees.

However, there weren't as many acquisitions this past year as there were in previous years. Instead, there were many divestments of drug units.

Abbott Laboratories lost a quarter of its employees after it created the AbbVie pure-play pharma company. In May, Covidien spun off its Mallinkrodt pharma business, including 10 percent of its employees.

Since Medtronic, Inc. acquired Covidien last month, they might not be included in next year's report but they might boost Medtronic from fourth place to second.

Boston Scientific was the only company that cut its staff, by 1,000 employees, without narrowing its focus.

Now that there are several megamergers underway — Medtronic acquiring Covidien and Zimmer Holdings, Inc. acquiring Biomet, Inc. — there will be more drastic changes in hiring rates in the coming years, said Cairns. "These same megamergers will probably mean redundancies in the future, as the merged companies seek synergies. In a sense, for some companies, this is the calm before the storm," she added.

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