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Straumann, the worlds largest implant manufacturer is cutting the price of its standard titanium implants by up to 15% in certain European countries this year. As the market for dental implants becomes increasingly cost competitive it will be cutting prices in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
In the UK Straumann will be cutting the price of its Roxolid SLActive implant by 13% but will not be dropping the prices of its regular titanium SLA and SLActive implants at this point.
European sales at the Swiss company have been weak throughout 2013. Its European operations account for more than half of its revenue and the company has now decided to bridge the price gap with its rival companies.
Over the last decade the popularity of low cost implants has increased with companies like Osstem and Alpha Bio offering low cost alternatives to the traditional implant manufacturers Straumann and Nobel Biocare. This has resulted in a shift in strategy from established producers who have been acquiring low cost competitors, thus allowing them to compete with the market on cost whilst maintaining higher profit margins on their traditional lines.
Nobel Biocare purchased low cost Israeli manufacturer Alpha Bio in 2011 and this investment has since become central to its strategy. In 2012 Straumann Brazilian implant producer Neodent and as of last year had set $430m aside to acquire another low cost producer. Last year Straumann Chief Exec Marco Gadola said, “with the exception of Neodent in Brazil, we have been limiting ourselves so far to the premium segment. However, we also realise we cannot ignore the value segment and we have to do more to penetrate this part of the market,”
Straumann also plans to offer its new Roxolid implants at the same prices as models it is phasing out to try to create better value and a competitive edge. The “rock solid” implants are made from an alloy of titanium and zirconium that is stronger than the titanium used on its own in older models, being presented as high-strength implants that reduce invasiveness.
This is another move in downward price movement of dental movements. If you are offering dental implants but do not currently offer a low cost alternative, this is something you should start considering.