Mark Coffey


Following IMSTA’s AGM on 6th April last, we are pleased to announce that Mark Coffey, Country Manager, Johnson & Johnson Medical, has been elected to Council.

David Duffy, Prospectus,  and Paul Mullaly, B. Braun,  have retired from Council and we would like to extend our thanks to David and Paul for all their work on behalf of the members of IMSTA.

Mark is the Country Manager for our Medical Devices business in Ireland, with responsibility for the commercial operations both North and South of the boarder.  He has 14 years’ experience in the medical devices industry and has worked for Johnson & Johnson for the last 4 years.  Prior to Johnson & Johnson, Mark spent 3 years with Synthes Medical Ireland Ltd as Managing Director and 7 years with Boston Scientific in various sales management & marketing roles across the UK & Ireland. 

The Johnson & Johnson family of companies have been operating in Ireland for  80 years, employing in excess of 2850 people across three business sectors; Medical Devices, Pharmaceuticals & Consumer Healthcare.

Mark has significant experience in dealing with key stakeholders such as government officials, semi state bodies and health insurance companies. This experience, along with his broad understanding of the NHS in England, could be beneficial to IMSTA as the Irish healthcare landscape continues to evolve towards a Money Follows The Patient / DRG model.


What does Value-Based Health Care actually mean?

Value-based health care is an emerging paradigm which has the power to change health care as we know it, but in order to achieve real impact, it must be applied to the key decisions that make up care delivery.

Several hospitals, procurement and even regional health authorities, have started including health care quality and longer-term cost impact considerations in their procurement decisions.  That’s seems reasonable given that the public health system is there to provide for maintaining the health of the population.  But what is meant by value?  Value is not just about cost, but also and principally about broader patient health and societal benefits.  Value is therefore a holistic concept.

One of the most critical decisions is the procurement of products or services by health care providers.  By choosing one product or service over another, procurement officials are de facto impacting the care being offered and incentivizing the industry and other health care stakeholders to act in specific ways.  Given this significant influence, procurement agencies should be one of the key players in health care leading the effort to focus on value.  Value in health care is not about getting three for the price of two.  This has enabled them to take health outcomes into consideration as well as other quality criteria, along with the total lifecycle cost and longer-term costs of care, so as to ensure best value for the patient, the medical staff, the entire hospital group and society.


It is further encouraging to note the increased focus the 2014 EU public procurement directive has placed on the quality criteria. This directive, which is currently being transposed into national legislations by the member states, puts clear focus on total economic value by making the most economic advantageous tender the default criteria and encouraging the use of best price/cost – quality ration i.e. the best value for money.

MedTech Europe in partnership with The Boston Consulting Group and international procurement experts, have been leading the way in developing a framework and tools to help health care providers evaluate the broader patient health and societal benefits when procuring health products or services.

Gotz Gereke (Boston Consulting Group) on PodiumAt IMSTA’s Annual Conference ‘Embracing Technology in Value-Based Health Care’, Götz Gerecke, Managing Director and Partner of The Boston Consulting Group in Switzerland gave a presentation how BCG and MedTech Europe collaborated to create a framework and tool-kit to facilitate smarter procurement which will result in value and quality being included in tender evaluation in future. This will be a focus area for IMSTA in 2016 and beyond.

So, what does Value-Based Health Care actually mean?  See the BCG/MedTech document BCG-Procurement-Dec-2015.


All the latest tender notices at your fingertips on www.imsta.ie Home page

TenderScout logo


IMSTA is pleased to announce an extension of our partnership with TenderScout to provide up-to-date medical and surgical supplies government opportunities on our own IMSTA website.

Members can now browse the list of open tenders and click through to gain more details on those of interest, or to browse through TenderScout’s global database of qualified government contracting opportunities. 

Members can additionally add their email to TenderScout and gain access to a rich set of features that reduce the likelihood on missing out on the best opportunities to win business. 

TenderScout finds winnable tenders by sifting through thousands of tender opportunities daily and automatically qualifying those that are right for you.  Rather than searching multiple websites to find tenders, which you then have to qualify using incomplete information, use TenderScout to find the few that are the most winnable for you.

HPRA focuses on distributors

We have mentioned many times before that the Health Products Regulatory Authority (formerly the Irish Medicines Board – IMB) is about to introduce fees for distributors of medical devices.  This will happen this year – 2016 – though the fees may only be payable from 1st January 2017, we’ll have to wait and see.

The reason the HPRA gives for the imposition of fees on distributors is “the introduction of  fees at national level to recover the cost associated with our medical device regulatory activities”.   The new EU Regulations governing the manufacture, sale and distribution of medical devices finally comes into force this year, possibly by as early as June 2016.  The HPRA as the Competent Authority in Ireland is responsible for the monitoring of the safety and performance of medical devices throughout their lifecycle.  In it’s role as market surveillance authority, the HPRA monitors medical devices after they are placed on the market and currently conduct audits at medical device manufacturing facilities, amongst other regulatory activities in this area.   The Regulations will introduce new requirements and obligations for all economic operators, including distributors.  As such, the HPRA will be required to monitor the compliance of medical device distributors with the requirements laid down in the Regulations, which are anticipated to essentially constitute Good Distribution Practice (GDP) for medical devices.

What will this mean for distributors? Apart from the annual fee, distributors will be subject to having their supply chain operations audited by the HPRA.  So what will an audit entail?  HPRA conducted a Pilot Inspection Programme for Distributors of Medical Devices recently with a view to determining an appropriate inspections protocol when they go “live” with distributor audits in 2017.

IMSTA have invited HPRA’s Darren Scully to provide an update on the distributor pilot inspections programme for medical devices – key findings and recommendations in line with the medical device revision as the text currently stands – at a business breakfast briefing on 11th May next.  This is really important so register early, we’re anticipating a huge turnout.   Confirm your attendance now by emailing admin@imsta.ie a.s.a.p.

We hope to be able to organise a follow-up business breakfast briefing shortly after the above which will be aimed at providing guidance on how members can comply with any recommendations the HPRA may have for distributors.

“Another excellent IMSTA conference this week. I found it very useful . .”

Mark McIntyre (Boston Scientific) seated with Speakers

The IMSTA Annual MedTech Conference held on 6th April in the Crowne Plaza in Santry is one of only two flagship events that the medical supply industry puts on every year.  The event presents an opportunity to have industry issues publicly debated by recognised experts.  The participation of senior figures from the Irish health system and international thought leaders is testament to the high regard afforded to IMSTA events.

It was very encouraging to notice at this year’s event that the language has changed. Senior government officials and Chief Executives of our hospital groups are now talking of partnering with industry, consulting with industry, working together in an effort to deliver value-based healthcare. Even with the unfortunate last minute cancellation of the excellent Dr Rhona Mahony, we managed a programme that was interesting and relevant to delegates.

Many senior figures from government and it’s agencies attended and the feedback so far has been excellent. Commendations like “IMSTA conferences are always excellent”,  “A very good meeting and great speakers with lots of food for thought” and “another excellent IMSTA conference this week. I found it very useful . . “  are typical of the responses we receive, and they are not from members.

Jim Breslin (Dept. of Health) at podiumFinally, it is noteworthy that the Secretary General at the Dept. of Health, Jim Breslin, took the time to share the strategy and perspective of the department with us, he hasn’t gone to such lengths at other similar events. It must be good for members to hear what government’s thinking is, straight from the horse’s mouth.

Note that all the presentations are available below.

Mind Maps of the presentations areavailable at:  MIND MAPS 2016.

OPENING ADDRESS – Jim Breslin, Department of Health


eHEALTH A CRITICAL ENABLER, Richard Corbridge, HSE (short version)








€5m allocated to Health Innovation Hub Ireland to foster links between Irish health service and vital new technologies

Health Innovation Hub




A pioneering partnership between private sector companies and the health service to develop groundbreaking Irish healthcare products and research and use them to benefit Irish patients has been set up by the Government.

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton and Minister for Health Leo Varadkar have announced €5 million in funding over five years for the Health Innovation Hub. The Hub has already shown its value and fostered a number of innovative healthcare products and services since it was set up on a pilot basis in 2012 based in University College Cork.

The Health Innovation Hub will be a win-win for businesses, the health service, and for job-creation:

  • Innovative Irish healthcare companies will for the first time be able to easily access the health service to test their products and services, increasing the chances of developing commercial ideas and creating jobs;
  • The health service will have easy access to innovative companies who can provide solutions to the problems that it faces, making it cheaper and easier to deliver better health-care to more patients.

The initiative has massive potential for Ireland’s burgeoning healthtech sector, and for improving healthcare services and outcomes for patients. It has already supported 23 projects involving 27 companies including:

    • an online tool for GPs to monitor the physical activity of patients via a smartphone or wearable devices;
    • scheduling services to improve patient flow;
    • infection control and hygiene management systems.

And it has helped Irish-based companies to sell their technology abroad:

  • Abtran, who were testing an electronic GP referral system were able to use the knowledge gained to tender for a similar service in a UK Trust;
  • Radisens, who were validating point of care testing equipment, have now closed a contract with a Tier‐1 strategic customer for Troponin development. Radisens secured a significant ESA contract valued at €1m to develop an innovative blood testing device for use by astronauts on board the International Space Station and on various human spaceflight missions;
  • Lincor Solutions tested bedside units to provide entertainment, education and access to clinical data. Access to clinical data provides the clinical team with more information at patient bedside and can improve patient satisfaction.

Speaking at the announcement, Minister Bruton said: “The Health Innovation Hub was identified as a Disruptive Reform in the Action Plan for Jobs and I am delighted that we have now progressed to establishing the Hub at the national level.   We have combined exports from our lifesciences and ICT sectors of over €140 billion annually and the strengths of our enterprise base can be leveraged to deliver much needed innovation into our health system and at the same time sustain and create more jobs in these sectors.

“The commitment by Government to a facility such as the Health Innovation Hub also sends out a very strong message to international companies considering investing in Ireland that we are committed to developing even stronger links between the health and enterprise sectors and the high level R&D driving each sector. As part of our long term plan this will help turn good ideas into good jobs and ultimately make a major contribution in a drive towards full employment. ”

Minister Varadkar said: “Often when we talk about health, the discussion only focuses on the cost to the Exchequer. If you look at things in the round, health actually makes an enormous contribution to the economy. More than 100,000 people are employed in the public health sector and as many again with private healthcare providers, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, medical devices, and in research and development. The life sciences sector accounts for a lot of our export revenue and is a major source of inward investment. The Health Innovation Hub is an opportunity to build on this by creating linkages between the health service and industry to develop new products and services that we can use to improve our own health service at home and sell as products and services abroad. It’s also a good example of joined-up Government as it involves two Government Departments, two Government agencies and the universities.”

The Health Innovation Hub had been funded as a pilot project and following evaluation of the pilot, the Government decided to scale the project up to the national level with direct financial support being provided by Enterprise Ireland and in-kind support being provided by the Health Service Executive including dedicated staff. Following a competitive process a consortium led by University College Cork, with partners including Cork Institute of Technology, Trinity College Dublin and the National University of Ireland Galway, was appointed to host Health Innovation Hub Ireland.

A new Hub Director will now be appointed, who will guide the Hub through the next five years. The first call for proposals will be made later this year. A Stakeholder Advisory Group will also be set up to act as a forum between suppliers and users.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland commented: “Ireland’s strengths in ICT combine well with expertise in traditional healthcare and medical technology and many of our indigenous medtech businesses are leading international players in their areas of specialist expertise. Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting collaboration opportunities between the health system and enterprise sector in order to innovate and internationalise healthcare technologies.  The Health Innovation Hub will improve the efficiency of the commercialisation process of new technologies, products and services, benefitting the health sector and society as a whole”.

PROCUREMENT: The Unexpected Driver of Value-Based Health Care

Value-based procurement of medical technology is already a reality in Europe. Several contracting authorities are using health care quality and longer-term cost impact considerations in their procurement decisions. This enables them to take patient outcomes into consideration as well as other qualitative criteria, along with the total lifecycle cost and longer-term costs of care, so as to ensure the best value for the patient, the medical staff, the entire hospital group and society.

The Boston Consulting Group and MedTech Europe, in partnership with non-industry procurement experts, have developed a framework to reflect this new way of thinking, as well as a practical tool to help implement value-based procurement of medical technology. IMSTA will be trialling this tool in early 2016 with both public and private health hospital groups and will more than likely seek input from some of our members before it is launched in March 2016. We expect to have it presented at our Annual Conference on 6th April – make sure you put that date in your diary! This could really be a breakthrough in the procurement of medtech in Ireland.

The innovative approach echoes the 2014 EU public procurement directive which puts a strong focus on total economic value by making the Most Economic Advantageous Tender (MEAT) the default criteria, and encourages the use of “best value for money” in tendering practices.

One of IMSTA’s priorities in 2016 will be to ensure that value-based procurement of medical technology becomes the common practice in Ireland.

Code of Ethics News and Christmas Hospitality/Gift Notice

MedTech Europe has agreed to phase out direct sponsorship of healthcare professionals to third-party medical conferences. After two years of work, Eucomed and EDMA codes of ethics have been updated and a single MedTech Europe Code of Ethical Business Practice has been established. On 2nd December, all Medtech Europe members voted at their Annual General Assembly to: –

  1. Introduce new industry support models for medical education of healthcare professionals.
  2. Phase out direct sponsoring of healthcare professionals to third-party medical conferences, as of 1 January 2018.
  3. Define, secure and frame educational grants in order to prevent misuse.

IMSTA supports these new measures and our Ethics & Compliance Group will meet early in the new year to discuss how best to integrate these changes into a new revised code of Ethical Business Practice for our members. The Ethics & Compliance Group Steering will develop a programme to assist members understand and build awareness of the new changes.

We would like to take this opportunity to bring your attention to our seasonal notice on hospitality and gifts, which this year would seem to be particularly relevant.

Hospitality & Gifts at Christmas

In an effort to promote compliance with the ethical business practices enshrined in IMSTA’s Code of Ethics, we are asking our member companies again not to engage in the traditional custom of providing hospitality and gifts to Healthcare Professionals this Christmas.

This is in line with the Medical Council guidelines on the relationships between doctors and industry and indeed the Framework for the Corporate and Financial Governance of the HSE: Codes of Standards and Behaviour.

We recommend that IMSTA member companies advise all their representatives of our position and, if necessary, issue their own letter to customers.

It may be appropriate in some instances for IMSTA members to consider making a charitable donation to an appropriate deserving cause, in lieu of the traditional Christmas gift, much the same as the Christmas Card initiative in the national newspapers.

IMSTA membership requires members to comply with the Code, which highlights the integrity of the Association and sets the standard of behaviour for the vast majority of medical supply and service companies operating in the market.


Joe Brolly and Mark Pollock Help Recognise and Inspire the Med Tech Industry, at Awards Night.

Joe Brolly was this year’s master of ceremony at the IMSTA MedTech Awards, held in Croke Park on Thursday evening. Guest speaker on the night was Northern Ireland adventurer Mark Pollock. However the big prize on the night went to Dr David Hickey. When accepting his award Dr Hickey gave a special mention to Joe Brolly and thanked all those who have helped him through the years:

Joe has been a significant contributor to the transplant effort over the last four or five years. I’m very honoured to accept this award but I must emphasise I’m accepting it as a member of a team. The transplantation of a kidney involves almost 100 people, from the supremely heroic donor family, to the Gardai, Air Core and all the nursing staff, Doctors, porters that make a transplant possible.” 

Mark Pollock spoke about how medical technology has helped him live a full life after he became blind and paralyzed. He also explained how he has been trying to develop new medical technology so he might walk again:

“At this point in history there has been no cure for paralysis, we as a human race have failed to find a cure for spinal cord injury. But of course history is filled with the accounts of the impossible being made possible through human endeavour. I figured there must be explorers out there working on the fringes of medical science. Trying to change this impossible of medical paralysis into a possible.” 

Once both men spoke the awards were handed out my IMSTA Chairman Mark McIntyre. Winners on the night included McKesson QICS, The HSE, Mater Hospital, Wassenburg, Rotunda Hospital, Accuscience, Smith & Nephew, Beaumont Hospital, Roche NTproBNPassay and Most Innovative Produce Winner –  Intersurgical. 

CEO of IMSTA Justin Carty said, “The awards are designed to recognise the contribution innovation and innovative companies make in health care delivery. This is our fourth year and the event keeps growing / getting better. The fact two men as inspirational and influential as Joe Brolly and Mark Pollock attended shows the industry is effective and giving benefits to those who need help.” 

Mark Pollock’s fundraiser Run in the Dark is taking place this November in cities across the world, including Dublin and Belfast. The money will go towards raising funds for spinal cord injuries. A link to the website is below. You can also follow all of IMSTA’s upcoming events on Twitter or go straight to their website.






David Hickey is a former Gaelic footballer and current selector for Dublin, now a doctor and the current Director of Transplantation in Ireland.  Hickey was awarded two all-stars for Dublin in 1974 and 1976. He won the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship with Dublin on three occasions in 1974, 1976 and again in 1977. David has won two National football league medals with Dublin in 1976 and 1978.  Hickey is a retired consultant urologist and transplant surgeon, based at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.


INTERSURGICAL – i-gel – Second Generation supraglottic airway device.   i-gel is a truly unique second generation supraglottic airway with a soft, gel like, non-inflatable cuff.   A second generation airway is described as a device that incorporates specific design features to improve patient safety by protecting against regurgitation and aspiration.


McKesson QICS -& HSE National Radiology Quality Improvement Programme.   The central aim of the programme is to ensure enhanced patient care and patient safety with timely, accurate and complete radiology diagnoses and reports.  It is a fully national system. Every hospital in the country will partake in it, which will deliver a great improvement in patient safety. It is a game changer in terms of the Irish care system; once fully live in 2016 Ireland will be the only country in the world to have a national quality programme for Radiology.


Community Audiology Services – Adult Integrated Audiology Service – Mater Hospital. Improves the Care Pathway for Adults requiring Hearing Aid Management.   Benefits include greatly reduced waiting times from diagnosis to intervention from +12 months to 6 weeks – and no replication of hearing tests.  The improved pathway and corresponding efficiency reduce workload resulting in a much more efficient service for the Mater Hospital Patients.


Wassenburg – Training to Endoscope Reprocessing Unit Users and Technicians.  The Wassenburg Ireland Periodic Testing of an Endoscope Washer Disinfector and Drying & Storage Cabinet training programme is designed to deliver the theory in relation to effective decontamination / reprocessing of flexible endoscopes whilst ensuring a practical based session is provided to give users the opportunity to perform hands on testing requirements to the level required.


HEALTHCARE INNOVATION AWARD Sponsored by Health Research Board

Rotunda Hospital Thrombosis Committee, THROMBOCALC.   Universal postnatal risk assessment for venous thromboembolism using the novel electronic scoring tool “THROMBOCALC“.A novel electronic risk assessment tool that facilitates improved compliance with assessing risk of potentially fatal blood clots in women following delivery.


ACCUSCIENCE  – a PHARMED Co. – Technical Services Department.  Accuscience offers a complete technical service and calibration function to support the medical and scientific division of the Pharmed Group. This includes installation, training, commissioning, validation and after sales support. The company provides 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, and 365-days-a-year support to customers throughout Ireland.


Smith &Nephew – GWA Global Wound Academy.  An educational resource dedicated to the training, knowledge and progress of medical professionals and their patients. The GWA educates Healthcare Professionals on all aspects of Woundcare and also addresses the main Chronic wound groups such as Pressure Ulcers, Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Venous Leg Ulcers.   The GWA provides a great opportunity for professional development with access to in-depth quality education in wound management at a local level without the prohibitive barriers of cost and travel.

eHEALTH AWARD, Sponsored by HISI / ICS.

Patient Buddy Transplant Ap. – Beaumont Hospital  Patient Buddy is a patient self-management platform for Kidney Transplant patients to take control of their condition. The solution is empowering Kidney Transplant patients through a smartphone application with home monitoring and diagnostics, helping them to improve the lifespan of their Transplant and giving their transplant care team additional data to improve their care.

BEST PRIMARY CARE / COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD Sponsored by Mangan O’Beirne Solicitors.

Roche NTproBNPassay.  Briefly, Heart Failure Prevention through use of NTproBNP guided therapy – STOP HF Mid-Lands Programme.  The STOP-HF Midlands project is a screening programme utilizing NT-proBNP and collaborative care to detect left ventricular dysfunction in an asymptomatic diabetic cohort.



NEW APPROACHES for procuring Effective Healthcare Solutions

Download New Approaches Report (PDF 6.4MB)

Procurement of medical technology, done properly, and with an eye toward factors other than short-term price, can greatly enhance value and efficiency in the health care system. Procurement should thus emerge as a partner to innovation and value in ensuring sustainability, access and quality in the Irish health care system.

This report demonstrates how best practices are put to work at various stages of the innovative procurement process: from pre-procurement processes that are essential to maximize fairness and useful input to allow for the most up-to-date technologies and concepts of value to be utilized, to capturing adequately these concepts in technical specifications written by committees of end-users, to award and post-award processes that help to ensure flexibility and fairness. They also present a robust palette of policy choices to enable greater utilization of innovation procurement, to enhance outcomes and value and to identify where there are opportunities to procure for solutions rather than products. To achieve these objectives, we would encourage the adoption of the best practices outlined in this paper by all stakeholders.

Procurement can be a powerful tool that, when utilized properly, enhances value and innovation in the Irish Health care system. The goal of innovative procurement is to maximize public purchasing power to enable patients to receive the best, most cost-effective, life-saving and innovative treatments across all phases of health care. If utilized judiciously, procurement can be a tool to create efficiency and quality rather than just cut costs.

IMSTA view this paper as a further step in our commitment to support health care system performance, access, quality and sustainability and greater social and economic development. We continue to believe that the continued meaningful engagement between industry, policy makers and stakeholders holds the most promise for improving the Irish Health Care procurement processes and
to further enhance the value within the health care system.


Appoint Procurement Committees

Procurement Committees to oversee needs assessment, market engagement, specification generation and the most appropriate procurement processes are essential to maximize public purchasing power to enable patients to receive the best life-saving, most cost-effective and innovative treatments across all phases of health care. In most, if not all, cases a suitable key opinion leader (KOL) with clinical experience of using relevant technology should be appointed to chair a procurement committee.

Procurement committees should comprise multi-disciplinary teams which, in the vast majority of cases involving medical devices, will mean physicians, often including consultants and surgeons, biomedical / clinical engineering, medical scientists and other applied healthcare professional. In some cases other stakeholders and patient representatives should be consulted.

Standardise Medical Technology Evaluation
The broad diversity, rapid innovation cycle and unique nature of medical devices presents a challenge for gathering comparative clinical and health-economic data for all medical devices. While Health Technology Assessments (HTAs) are used by procuring authorities when sourcing medical technology, they may not always provide the data required at hospital, local or regional level.

Studies which examine costs and benefits only at hospital level may be commercially useful to the hospital but will necessarily address the impact on the broader healthcare system. Therefore, we recommend a multi-disciplinary Professional Evaluation Group be established, reporting to the Procurement Committee.

Facilitate and Adopt InnovationHarnessing innovation has the potential to improve the health, well-being and economic productivity of the population and slow the growth in the cost of care. Funding innovation through pre-commercial procurement is a tried and tested process which challenges industry to come up with solutions for identified healthcare problems. Developing a guide to commissioning for innovation of medical devices, linked to unmet health needs identified by the National Clinical

Programmes should be considered as a priority for the health service.