Orthopaedics and cardiology groups start to improve in terms of sales per employee, but Covid test makers do better still.
Overall venture investment in the sector remains steady, but the big strategics back off.
Attempts to treat pain with non-opioid drugs have ended in repeated failures – but device makers have met with greater success.
A combination of Covid and market gloom results in the fewest acquisitions closing for over 20 years.
And some diagnostics groups are forecast to actually cut R&D outlay this year as the pandemic eases.
Medtronic, Siemens and Stryker are all expected to seize greater market share, while Roche slides down the rankings.
Roche had the most innovative approvals over the last five years – but took second place in terms of speed.