Medical Devices and the Recruitment Industry

From plasters to bandages to MRI scanners and replacement hips, these are all medical devices that are well known in everyday life. However, an increase in contract researchers in the pharmaceutical industry, in particular contract researchers on clinical trials for medical devises, has left us wondering why. What is changing in the industry that is causing a surge in demand for contract researchers, scientists and tab technicians?

More than 500,000 medical devises are being produced globally, compared to 20,000 medicinal products. Even non-pharmaceutical companies are noticing the trend and getting involved with this line of development. For example, Samsung and other electronic companies are investing in medical devices.

The range of professionals that are involved in the process of creating medical devices include bioengineers, electrical engineers, software experts, aerospace engineers, physicians, researchers, clinicians and a whole new regulation board.

The technological advancements being made in medical devices are much faster than those in pharmaceuticals. This is likely due to the lifecycle from concept to clinical trials for a medical device is between 18-24 months, compared to the 10-20+ years it can take to develop a new drug.

It seems likely that the life cycle of these products is at least in part responsible for the increasing demand for contract scientists.

With an aging population, we have experienced a surge in age-related illnesses – particularly cardiovascular and respiratory diseases – there is an ever-increasing demand for these devices. The medical devices industry is estimated to reach a market value of $398bn in 2017. On top of that, the market growth is approximately 4.4% compared to the annual growth of 2.5% in the prescription drug market.

The advancements being in the biotechnology industry are astonishing – from replacing heart valves and developing replacement joints to needle-free injectors and innovative surgical tools.

This certainly an industry to keep your eye on – recruiters and scientist alike.


Annie Jenkinson is recruitment consultant specializing in contract appointments in the pharmaceutical industry. If you would like to discuss your next career move, call her on +44 (0)1625 537 555 or email   ajenkinson@leap29.com for a confidential, informal chat.

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