France - Country Commercial Guide
Medical Devices (MED)

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-10-12











Total Market size





Total Local Production





Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the US





Exchange Rate 1 Euro



USD 1.14

USD 1.20

(total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)

data source: SNITEM “Panorama de la Filière Industrielle des Dispositifs Médicaux en France en 2019 :

 (Figures in USD millions; * indicates unofficial estimates. Year to year figures adjusted for varying exchange rate.)

The Covid 19 crisis has had a significant impact on the medical device sector.  In France, it is reported that approximately 40% of surgical procedures have been postponed or canceled.  Last year, most hospital activity has been focused solely on the Covid 19 pandemic.  generating an increased demand for Covid 19 related producers of equipment and supplies but has precipitously decreased the sales of all other medical devices.  As a result, it is reported that 82% of companies have experienced either a sharp slowdown of their sales, or even a total lack of activity.  France, like many other countries, has relied on telemedicine to address social distancing requirements.   In this context, market data for 2020 and 2021 is unavailable. 

The medical device market in France had an estimated turnover of €31.2 billion for the year 2019. The market turnover for medical devices exported from France is estimated at €8.9 billion, which is 26% of the total market. The market is expected to see an annual growth of about 2% for the next several years.

There are over 1,300 medical device firms in France. One-third of these firms are of foreign origin. Although they only account for one-third of the number of enterprises, foreign enterprises bring in two-thirds of the total turnover. American enterprises alone account for 22% of the total market.

Unlike other medical sectors such as pharmaceuticals where large multi-national corporations often dominate the market, the medical device industry is mainly composed of niche-market producers. Out of the 1,300 enterprises in France, 92% are SMEs, of which 88% exclusively produce medical devices. The medical device sector employs approximately 85,000 people.

The best prospects for medical equipment can be found in newly developing sectors such as non-invasive surgery, orthopedics, and disposable medical equipment. Healthcare professionals in France are highly optimistic about the success of new medical technology. One example of such technology is telemedicine, which is expected to have a major impact on medical care institutions in the coming years.

There has been a steady growth of innovative medical procedures in France, such as same-day surgery. This growth is expected to benefit American medical equipment manufacturers who produce highly innovative devices, as well as those who offer products and services focused on reducing healthcare costs.

Best practices

U.S. companies should either have an agent / distributor or set up a subsidiary to export medical devices to France.  For smaller and medium-sized companies, it is preferable to first select an agent / distributor to have a better sense of the market share that can be obtained in France.  The creation of a fully owned subsidiary can be planned at a later stage. Medical devices in the French market, whether imported products or domestically manufactured lines, are subject to the following requirements:

  • Medical devices are required to obtain the CE Mark
  • Medical devices are required to have French-language directions Leading Sub-Sectors


The diagnostic sub-sector represents approximately 34% of the total medical device market in France. State-of-the-art diagnostic medical imaging systems are in high demand. Uses for diagnostic technology already exist for pediatrics, cardiovascular care, digestion, urology, and spinal/neurological treatment. As these devices use trusted and versatile technology, demand for diagnostic equipment will continue to grow. Health care professionals are very interested in a feature of medical imagery equipment known as “image networking”. Image networking allows a healthcare professional to compare an image of a current patient to hundreds of previous cases using an image data bank.


The rehabilitation sub-sector represents approximately 25% of the total medical device market in France. It includes all types of devices designed to help those recovering from illness or treatment. Like many European markets, France has a growing elderly population with a greater need for rehabilitation products. A large portion of this sub-sector is made up of disposable medical equipment such as incontinence products, wound care products, and items designed to prevent bed sores.


The surgical instrument and supplies sub-sector represents approximately 18% of the total medical device market in France. Recent innovations in the field of non-invasive surgery could potentially have a significant impact on everyday hospital practice. Non-invasive surgery devices offer superior results and present a significantly reduced risk to patients.

Intensive care

Intensive care equipment like respiratory monitors, pumps, and incubators represent about 9% of the medical device market. Demand from both public and private hospitals for cutting-edge intensive care equipment and supplies is increasing. U.S. suppliers of this type of equipment should benefit from the increased demand.

Technical aids

The French market for medical prostheses accounts for approximately 7% of the total medical device market. This market is characterized by a strong growth potential for innovative internal prostheses such as knees, hips, ligaments, and elbows. Innovative technical aids in the fields of audiology, dialysis, and respiration are also in high demand.


The hygiene sub-sector represents approximately 5% of the total medical device sector in France. Patient and medical personnel safety is a growing concern to medical personnel and the public. Best prospects in this sector will include products that make it easier to adhere to stringent personnel safety requirements. Products focusing on protection from and preventing the spread of AIDS and other contagious diseases are in particularly high demand.


Implementing controls on health care spending is a key objective of the French government. Decreased spending has led to a decline in the demand for traditional hospital-care equipment. At the same time, demand has grown for medical equipment that can help ensure shorter and less frequent hospital stays. The increasing need for age-related health care equipment will continue to bring new prospects for U.S. suppliers of innovative medical devices.

Companies that specialize in healthcare IT solutions or electronic medical records are also in high demand. France has developed an electronic card (Carte Vitale) for each patient to process government reimbursement electronically. There are plans to update these cards in the future so that they carry electronic medical records in addition to payment information. Ressources

Approval and testing

G-MED (Groupement pour l’évaluation des dispositifs médicaux)

National agency for the evaluation of medical equipment


Trade Association

Syndicat National de l’Industrie des Technologies Médicales - S.N.I.T.E.M.

Medical equipment trade association


National Authority for Health

HAS (Haute Authorité de Santé)

National agency for the evaluation of medical equipment and medical practices


Safety Agency

ANSM (Agence Nationale de Sécurité du Médicament et des Produits de Santé)

National agency for the safety of pharmaceuticals and health products


Pricing Committee 

CEPS (Comité Economique des Produits de Santé)

Pricing committee for pharmaceuticals and medical devices 


Public Hospitals

FHF (Fédération Hospitalière de France)

Public Hospitals Federation


Private Hospitals

FHP (Fédération de l’Hospitalisation Privée)

Private Hospitals Federation


Contact:  U.S. Embassy France - U.S. Commercial Service Trade Specialist:

Tel: +33(0)1 43 12 70 14