Your company is already operating in Germany and you would now like to export worldwide?

Minimal invasive robot surgical system in hospital. Robotic technology equipment, machine arm surgeon in futuristic operation room. Medical inovation 3D view endoscopy for robot surgery in healthcare RF_Adobe_243571429_RZ_1340x754 | © Damian Horațiu Sultănoiu

The Healthcare Market in Germany - Opportunities for Foreign Companies

Germany is Europe's largest healthcare and life sciences market. This makes it the preferred choice for many international companies preparing to expand their footprint.

Germany’s growing markets are driven by various global trends. Social developments like demographic change, and technological trends such as digitization are some key examples. Science and innovation conducted in Germany frequently leads to commercialization of cutting-edge technology. This is the case especially in the life sciences sector, which comprises a variety of high-tech sectors like molecular diagnostics, (bio-)pharmaceuticals and biomaterials as well as medical devices. 

It is our mission to help your company grow in Germany. Discover opportunities for your project in Germany. See latest market data and developments and get the insights that will help you set up shop in the German healthcare and life sciences market.

This is the German Healthcare Market

Germany’s healthcare market is No. 1 in Europe by market volume, number of patients, medical technology manufacturers, and healthcare providers.

The healthcare market in numbers

Healthcare spending in Germany exceeded EUR 457 billion in 2021, not including expenditure for wellness and fitness. The market has grown at a rate of 5.4 percent over the past five years. With 7.7 million employees and exports in excess of EUR 158 billion, healthcare is one of the largest economic sectors in Germany.

Healthcare expenditure (by OECD definition)

EUR 457 billion

Annual market growth (CAGR 2016-2021)

5.4 percent


7.7 million


EUR 158 billion


EUR 145 billion

Number of companies

  • Medical technology: 13,000
  • Pharmaceutical: 500+
  • Biotechnology: 710
Source: Destatis, BMWK, BVMed 2023

This drives the market

Healthcare Market - Market Drivers Healthcare Market - Market Drivers | © Germany Trade & Invest

(Almost) universal health insurance coverage

Health insurance coverage is mandatory in Germany. Insurance premiums are shared by employers and employees. The vast majority of the population is enrolled in public health insurance plans. About ten percent choose private providers. Both publicly and privately insured can choose their provider. Currently, there are 96 public and 41 private health insurance companies operating in Germany (2023).

Inpatient care in Germany

More than 1,800 hospitals with nearly 500,000 beds operate in Germany – not including rehabilitation or elderly care facilities. The overall number of medical hospitals is declining as smaller general hospitals close or merge with other hospitals to increase efficiency.

The share of privately operated hospitals continues to rise

The share of privately operated hospitals continues to rise
The share of privately operated hospitals continues to rise | © German Hospital Federation 2017

Innovation clusters as key to success

Every year companies participate in thousands of research projects with other partners from industry and scientific institutions, emphasizing Germany’s reputation as a leading environment for healthcare and life sciences. Along the entire value chain – from R&D through scale-up and production to sales and marketing – Germany is known for its outstanding capabilities, resources, and infrastructure.

Germany's technology clusters provide benefits along the entire value chain Germany's technology clusters provide benefits along the entire value chain | © Germany Trade & Invest

Medical Technology Clusters and BioRegions

Germany is home to more than 30 specialized cluster networks focusing on medical technology. Dedicated cluster management teams help obtain funding for joint R&D projects, provide shared facilities, and organize educational training programs for their members.

Germany’s “BioRegions” are regional initiatives for the advancement of modern biotechnology. Over the past three decades, these biotechnology clusters have developed to become Europe’s leading R&D hubs. Each region specializes in particular areas and facilitates collaboration between universities, R&D institutes, and private sector companies.

What's going on in Germany's Healthcare Industry?

Find the latest news about current developments in Germany's healtcare market and its industries. Get our latest publications for free download and see where in the wolrd you can meet our experts.

The Medical Biotechnology Industry in Germany

Germany’s biopharmaceuticals sector increased turnover by 14 percent last year, with the country’s biotech companies as important actors in the fight against Covid-19.

Medical biotech nation Germany

Germany is the world’s leading medical biotech nation behind the US. The industry’s strength comes from the presence of long-established and start-up companies alike. Industry, government, and the research sector are pulling in one direction to build on the thriving sector’s already strong market foundations. With the largest amount of biotech companies in Europe, world-class research infrastructure, and internationally renowned scientists, Germany has firmly established itself as an international medical biotechnology hub.

Innovation infrastructure

Science and industry need to work together closely in order for innovations to be commercialized successfully. German bioclusters are proving to be important new technology impulse givers in this respect.

Germany's bioregions

The BioRegions are regional initiatives for the advancement of modern biotechnology in Germany. Over the past three decades, these biotechnology clusters have developed to become Europe’s leading R&D hubs. Each region facilitates collaboration between universities, R&D institutes and private sector companies. Around 30 BioRegions are active members of AK Bioregio, whose goal is to advance the German biotechnology sector by coordinating and promoting local activities. AK BioRegio advances the exchange between regional initiatives and relays its expertise to political decision makers.

Investors benefit from easy access to networks and funding for research projects. The BioRegions also include technology parks tailored to the specific needs of biotechnology companies. Commonly known as BioParks, these centers offer an ideal infrastructure - including lab space and clean rooms - as well as a range of services for both start-up and well established companies.

Growth drivers: IVD & molecular diagnostics

In-vitro diagnostics (IVDs) are a crucial part of modern medicine: laboratory based tests performed on biological samples provide information that is key for the prevention, treatment and management of diseases. Today, around two third of all clinical diagnoses are made thanks to IVD´s. With more than EUR 2 bn in annual revenue, Germany represents the largest IVD market in Europe and second worldwide behind the USA.

Diagnostic Industry Revenue in EUR Million
Diagnostic Industry Revenue in EUR Million | © Medtech Europe IVD Market statistics: IVD market 2018

Molecular diagnostics (Dx) has emerged as one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the IVD industry. Molecular Dx already enjoys more than 10 percent share of the entire German diagnostics market and boasts a growth rate more than twice that of the entire IVD market as such.

Growth drivers: biopharmaceuticals market

Big pharmaceutical and smaller biotechnology companies alike are focusing on drug discovery and development of medicines produced by biotechnological processes.

Small molecules are moving to the background in medicine development as the result of a major paradigm shift to biopharmaceuticals. This is reflected by the increasing sales of biopharmaceutical products worldwide.

According to a report by Boston Consulting Group and the Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (vfa), sales of biopharmaceuticals in Germany increased to EUR 10.2 billion in 2017 (growth of 10.3 percent compared to 2016). Growth was seen in nearly all fields of application, particularly in drugs treating immunological (e.g. rheumatic) diseases and cancer.

The number of biopharmaceuticals in clinical development increased from 604 in 2014 to 639 in 2017, reflecting continued high investment in the biopharmaceutical pipeline.

In 2017, a record-breaking 51percent of all new drug approvals were biopharmaceuticals. By the end of 2017, a total of 274 biopharmaceutical drugs were approved for the German market – more than ever before. Divided into pharmacological classes, vaccines and monoclonal antibodies are leading in numbers with 23percent each, followed by insulin with 14 percent.

Number of New Drug Approvals
Number of New Drug Approvals | © vfa/BCG: Medizinische Biotechnologie in Deutschland 2020
Biopharmaceuticals Value Growth Rate in Percent
Biopharmaceuticals Value Growth Rate in Percent | © BCG – Medizinische Biotechnologie in Deutschland 2020

Download our latest Industry Overview The Pharmaceutical Industry in Germany for more information.

Biopharma in Germany

Germany was once the “world’s pharmacy,” and the success of BioNTech developing a coronavirus vaccine put it back in the global #pharmaceuticals focus. Where is this crucial #health sector headed? And how can YOUR business benefit? Our new video has some answers.

Do you think your company could be past of the #pharma industry in Europe’s largest economy? GTAI can help – at no cost because we’re a government agency. Get in touch:

The Medical Technology Industry in Germany

Demand for innovative medical technology solutions continues to grow as we live longer, healthier lives. Medical technology and in vitro diagnostics (IVD) spending in Germany reached a forecast record high of EUR 43 billion in 2022. 

The industry in numbers

According to MedTech Europe, European medical technology market volume - including IVD - grew to around EUR 160 billion in 2022. With a market share of almost 27 percent and sales of almost EUR 43 billion, Germany represents by far the largest European market (followed by France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain). Almost EUR 38 billion of turnover in Germany was generated in the medical device segment and over EUR 5 billion in the IVD segment. This corresponds  to 26.4 percent and 30.3 percent of the respective European markets. 

EUR 38.4 bn

turnover of German medical device manufacturers

+ 5.5 %

turnover in 2022

67 %

export quota


employees in the German medtech industry


companies with more than 10,000 small and micro enterprises

The positive domestic market outlook and strong exports resulted in a 5.5 percent turnover increase of German medical device manufacturers in 2022. This creates growth opportunities for the medical technology industry, which is made up almost entirely of small and medium-sized companies. Of the 1,450 companies with more than 20 employees, around 93 percent are SMEs (20 to 250 employees). 

According to the German Medical Technology Association (BVMed), German medical device manufacturers generated EUR 38.4 billion in turnover in 2022. When including all small and micro-enterprises located in Germany, overall industry sales surpassed EUR 47 billion. 

Medical technology “Made in Germany” is highly valued around the world. Around two thirds of the revenue of companies with more than 20 employees are generated in international markets (EUR 25.8 billion in 2022). Although the USA remains the single biggest market, followed by China, the lion's share of German medical device exports actually stay within Europe.

Market opportunity innovation

The German medical technology industry is highly innovative and drives medical progress – around nine percent of revenue is invested in R&D. More than EUR 3 billion is spent each year on R&D and the patenting of novel technologies. 

9 %

of revenue is invested in R&D


patents registered with the European Patent Office in 2022


of revenue generated with products less than three years old

Germany is the leading European country in medtech based on the number of patent applications. In 2022, some 1,391 patents were registered with the European Patent Office by the German medical technology industry. 

With one third of German medical technology industry turnover generated by products less than three years old, the share of innovative devices is significant.

Investor services

Germany is the ideal innovation location in the medical technology field. Working closely with cluster experts, Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) assists international companies in identifying and contacting partners for research and development and supports companies planning to establish a physical business presence (e.g. an R&D center) in Germany.

Germany's unique medical technology clusters 

Products "Made in Germany“ enjoy an excellent global reputation for their outstanding quality, innovation and design. The foundation of this success is a long-established collaboration between different actors operating in the field. 


Download our latest fact sheet on Germany's medical technology clusters for free.

Free download

Germany is home to around 50 cluster networks active in medical technology. Their goal is to achieve continuous innovation in R&D as well as in manufacturing by connecting companies, hospitals, universities, and other research institutions. 

Dedicated cluster management teams help obtain funding for joint R&D projects, provide shared facilities and organize educational training programs for their members. This favorable and dynamic environment can also facilitate market entry for international medical technology companies expanding to Germany.

MedTech manufacturing location Germany

Germany is an attractive production location thanks to high productivity and advanced manufacturing leadership. The country enjoys a long and successful tradition in mechanical medical engineering and high-quality manufacturing. 

Medical technology companies and their employees alike can rely on Germany's world-class education system that ensures that the highest standards are always met. The country provides ready access to a competitive, highly skilled and motivated workforce, which comprises over 42 million people - making it the largest pool of skilled labor in the EU. 

With its state-of-the-art infrastructure and its central location in Europe, Germany is also an ideal location for serving other European markets.

Investor services

GTAI's experts support FDI projects by international medical technology manufacturers and provide information concerning possible incentive programs that can significantly reduce investment costs under certain conditions.

Supportive hospital landscape

The country's globally renowned university hospitals play an important role in the development and introduction of new medical products and services – whether as R&D partners or in the implementation of clinical trials. 

With almost 1,900 hospitals and a total capacity of around 500,000 beds, Germany has the biggest hospital sector in Europe. In 2021, close to 17 million patients received treatment, with an average hospitalization period of one week. The majority of the largest hospitals are university hospitals, of which there are a total of 36 across the country.

Spotlight: Germany’s medical aids market

Medical aids represent one major segment of the German medical technology market. Megatrends like demographic change and the increasing number of people in need of care stimulate the demand for medical aids in Germany.

The medical aids sector encompasses a wide range of different product groups in the area of assistive devices and mobility equipment – from prostheses, orthoses, walking aids and wheelchairs through to incontinence treatments and visual and hearing aids. In general, the purpose of medical aids is to ensure the successful treatment of a disease, to prevent an imminent disability or balance an existing disability of an individual.

Rising market volume

Expenditures for medical aids are continuously on the rise - growing by 3.8 percent per year between 2011 and 2021 to reach a new high of EUR 22.4 billion. A substantial proportion of expenses is reimbursed by health insurance providers. In 2021, spending by statutory and private health insurance companies on medical aids increased by five percent to EUR 11.4 billion. The number of care recipients in Germany reached almost five million by the end of 2021 and is expected to grow to around 5.4 million by 2030, further stimulating   demand for medical aids in the future.

Trends and reimbursement

Watch our "Germany's Medical Aids Market” webinar for further information about the medical aids segment and reimbursement scheme.

The Digital Health Market in Germany

Germany's Digital Care Act (DVG) paves the way to broad usage and reimbursement of digital health applications - providing access to digital health applications on prescription to 73 million insured Germans.

The healthcare industry in Germany is undergoing massive digitalization. By 2025, the German digital health market is projected to be worth EUR 57 billion. 

Digital Health Applications

Individuals with health insurance are entitled to coverage  benefits for digital health applications (DIGAs) where those applications meet the following characteristics:

  • Medical products of class I or IIa under MDR
  • Main function is based on digital technologies
  • DIGAs assist the process of detection, monitoring, treatment and alleviation of injuries and compensate diseases and disabilities
  • DIGAs are used either by the patient or jointly by the patient and the care provider, which means application can solely be used for patient treatment

“Fast Track” into the DIGA directory

In order to bring digital health applications into the statutory health system, a  “Fast Track” process has been created to make sure that all of the 73 million Germans with public health insurance (90%) have access to these applications.

Graphic: Fast Track into the DIGA Directory
Graphic: Fast Track into the DIGA Directory | © Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM); hih - health innovation hub 2020

The developer submits an application to the BfArM - the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices – which also advises the developer. If the application fulfils the general requirements (safety, quality, functionality, privacy, and data security) and positive care effects (medical benefits, structural & procedural improvements), it can be listed in the DIGA directory. Structural and procedural improvements include: access to care, adherence, health literacy or overcoming gaps in transition from one type of care to another.

This means that the developer can already provide evidence which shows the positive care effects. This process takes up to three months. The developer then negotiates a price with the umbrella organization of statutory health organizations.
If the developer cannot yet provide evidence for the positive care effects a 12 month trial period is conducted, which can be used to provide a hypothesis and an evaluation concepts for the expected positive care effects (producer bears cost).

The DIGA can then be listed in the directory for 12 months. During this time, the producer can collect data and show the positive care effects its DIGA has. BfArM decides on the final listing and the producer negotiates a price with the umbrella organization of statutory health organizations.


Telemedicine combines telecommunication and information technologies to provide remote health care and other health-related services. A number of telemedicine initiatives have sprung up in recent years, with about 200 telemedicine projects currently active in Germany. Detailed information about ongoing and implemented projects is provided by Deutsche Telemedizinportal, part of the eHealth Initiative founded by the Federal Ministry of Health. The aim of the initiative is to pave the way for meaningful applications past the project phase into standard care.

“Time is Brain” - Telemedicine Closes Gaps in Health Care Provision

One example that vividly illustrates how digital health is not just about saving money but also lives is the use of telemedicine solutions for the treatment of strokes. Germany has a dense network of stroke units and tele-stroke units. There are more than 300 hospitals with certified stroke units in Germany. Tele-stroke units complement the high quality and comprehensive medical care of strokes in areas where the admission to a hospital with a stroke unit would take too long. Since 2011, tele-stroke units are also certified to ensure the high quality of these telemedicine networks.

The Pharmaceutical Industry in Germany

Combining cutting edge-innovation, a long tradition as the “world´s pharmacy” and continuously growing demand for healthcare products, Germany is the ideal location for pharmaceutical R&D, production, and sales of medicines.

The industry in numbers

Germany constitutes the major European pharmaceutical market and the fourth largest worldwide. Driven by trends such as demographic change, a rise in chronic diseases and an increasing emphasis on prevention and self-medication, Europe’s biggest pharmaceutical market is growing faster than the German economy. In 2022, pharmaceutical industry sales in Germany increased by 5.4 percent, reaching EUR 56.5 billion (ex-manufacturer prices).

EUR 56.5 bn

German pharmaceutical industry revenue in 2022 - biggest pharma market in Europe

6.4 %

compound annual growth rate 2017-2022 in the German pharma market

Germany belongs to the world’s leading clinical trials locations and - based on R&D investment and patent application levels - is the leading pharmaceutical innovation location in Europe. The country is the largest exporter of medicinal products and ranks among the top pharmaceutical producers worldwide. In light of the global need for personalized medicine, Germany has also evolved into one of the main suppliers of novel biopharmaceuticals.
EUR 34.6 bn

production value in 2021 - one of Europe's top pharmaceutical production locations

EUR 8.7 bn

R&D investments by pharma companies in Germany in 2021 - more than in any other European country

EUR 101.6 bn

German pharma exports in 2021 - world's leading exporter of medicinal products

More than 600 pharmaceutical companies are located in Germany. SMEs constitute the backbone of the economic sector, with more than 90 percent of drug manufacturers having less than 500 employees. Overall, the German pharmaceutical industry has a workforce of around 140,000 people.

pharma companies in Germany


workforce of the pharma industry in Germany

Market opportunities 

Over-the-counter (OTC) market

On average, revenues in the German OTC market increased by four percent per year between 2017 and 2022, reaching almost EUR 12.0 billion in 2022. Around EUR 7.8 billion was generated in the non-prescription drugs segment and almost EUR 4.2 billion with health products.


Download our latest publications on Germany's pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry for free.

Biotechnology Clusters in Germany

Non-prescription drugs include pharmacy-only drugs as well as OTC drugs that may also be sold outside of pharmacies. Product groups that are not subject to pharmaceutical legislation - for example, food supplements – belong to the health products segment and can be sold by pharmacies as well as in the mass market (e.g. drugstores and supermarkets).

Traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies enjoy a high level of trust among the German population and represent the main distribution channel for OTC products, followed by mail-order pharmacies and the mass market.

Remedies for the respiratory system, analgesics and products for the digestive system account for the highest share of OTC sales via pharmacies (including mail order). Although self-medication represents the major part of revenue, OTC products may also be prescribed and reimbursed by health insurance companies.


The development of biological drugs has led to substantial shifts in the pharmaceutical industry landscape in recent years. Large companies have moved their focus from small molecule drugs towards the development and production of complex biological compounds that are made with the help of a variety of organisms.

Because of their high therapeutic potential, biologics have taken up a considerable share of the pharmaceutical market in Germany: From 2021 to 2022, the biologics market grew by 10.5 percent  – almost twice the growth of the overall pharma market. Revenue of biopharmaceuticals in Germany reached EUR 17.8 billion in 2022, equivalent to one third of the total pharmaceutical market.

The availability of a highly trained labor force, a secure legal framework, the company’s own long tradition in Germany, and a proven record in biopharmaceutical production were determining factors for the site expansion.

Prof. Dr. Hagen Pfundner CEO Roche Pharma AG and Managing Director Roche Deutschland Holding GmbH

Oncology and immunology showed double-digit growth in 2022 and remain the highest-revenue segments, with a market share of 29 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Together with metabolic disorders those three indication areas represent almost three quarters of the total revenue generated with biopharmaceuticals in Germany. Besides, the infections segment (e.g. vaccines and antiviral agents) showed the highest growth rate in 2022 – revenue increased by 35 percent to EUR 1.2 billion.

Pharma production location Germany

Germany is one of the world’s top pharmaceutical production locations. In 2021, pharmaceutical production volume reached EUR 34.6 billion – equivalent to 6.9 percent year-on-year growth.

Together with Belgium and Italy, Germany belongs to the biggest pharmaceutical manufacturing locations within the European Union. In addition to local industry players like Bayer and Boehringer Ingelheim, many international pharmaceutical companies – including, for instance, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi and Takeda – operate production facilities in Germany.

Germany is the second-largest producer of biopharmaceuticals approved in the European Union, only surpassed by the USA. Three important factors contributing to this excellent position are the high-performing industrial infrastructure, the long-standing strength of the local chemical industry, and a highly qualified workforce.

Research and development

Germany provides the perfect environment for the development and production of research-intensive, high-grade products.

In 2021, the pharmaceutical industry in Germany invested over EUR 8.7 billion in R&D – more than in any other European country. The German pharmaceutical sector shows the highest research intensity across all major German industries – about 11.1 percent of revenues were reinvested in internal R&D projects in 2020 and the total research intensity reached 16.5 percent.

With 589 clinical trials financed by research-based pharmaceutical companies in 2021, Germany ranks second in the EU and sixth worldwide. Based on the number of patent applications, the country is leading in pharmaceutical innovation in Europe. In 2022, some 613 patents were registered with the European Patent Office by the pharmaceutical industry in Germany.

Over 30 biotechnology clusters bundle scientific expertise at a regional level and connect academic and industrial players in the field of drug development, thereby contributing substantially to the advancement of pharmaceutical innovation and creating an innovation ecosystem that enjoys global acclaim.


Germany is one of the world’s most important providers of healthcare products and services. Gain access to the German healthcare market and identify potential German partners with HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY, our export initiative for the German healthcare industry.

BMWi_Mittelstand_Global_Health_made_in_Germany_CMYK_Schutzraum.jpg Dies ist ein eingebettetes Bild | © BMWK

Find your partner: our company directory

German manufacturers and service providers in all healthcare and life sciences segments attract overseas customers. The German market, one of the leading helathcare markets in the world, boasts many opportunities for international companies looking for partners on the German market.

Our online company directory gives you free access to more than 3,500 profiles of companies active in the German healthcare market. We cover all the main healthcare industry sectors, ranging from medical biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical technology to digital health and related sub-sectors.

Individual company profiles provide you with detailed information about each company’s activities, product and services range, financial data and contact information. This allows you to establish direct contact with potential partners in Germany.   

How HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY can support your company

We provide proactive support in navigating the German healthcare market. Our services cover four major industries active in the international medical market: pharmaceuticals, medical technology, medical biotechnology, and digital health care. We work in close cooperation with 16 major German industry associations and are ideally placed to provide access to German healthcare market information and to help overseas businesses identify potential German partners.

We take part in leading healthcare trade fairs all over the world, organize networking events and enjoy ongoing dialogue and exchange with international health policymakers.

Contact us for more information on how to get into contact with potential partners and suppliers in Germany.

HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY is the export initiative for the German healthcare industry. We support international companies and organizations that are interested in establishing contact with potential German partners and suppliers. Set up by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), the initiative bundles expert market intelligence for easy industry access. One of the initiative’s main goals is to promote the German healthcare sector through international networking activities for the mutual benefit of international partners and German companies alike.

The HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY initiative is implemented by Germany Trade & Invest.

Latest publications

HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY provides extensive information about the German healthcare industry, its different sectors and individual companies active there. Download our latest industry profiles for free to access the German healthcare industry and establish contact with potential German partners and suppliers.

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