Brexit stockpiling powering roller-coaster UK hearing market



© Niall_Majury - iStock

Stockpiling because of Brexit insecurity is behind Q3 unit sales for hearing aids in the UK repeating this year's Q1 pattern, a 12.9% rise on 2018, according to data from the British and Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHMI).

Instability in the National Health Service (NHS) market, and ongoing growth in the private sector are indicated by BIHIMA's latest figures, which show that both first and third quarter sales in 2019 shot up "largely as a result of stock orders from the NHS in preparation for a hard Brexit". Sales had decreased sharply in the second quarter. Figures for Ireland were similar to those in the UK

BIHIMA also tracks the trends in the styles of technology being selected by patients in the private sector. The Q3 results show the continued popularity of RITE/RIC style hearing aids in the UK, which now accounts for 76.7% of all sales, a growth of 7.3 percentage points over one year.

“These are strong results in uncertain times. No matter the level of turmoil in the political landscape, there will always be a need for our members’ products. We are committed to ensuring the supply chain remains open so that hearing impaired people have access to the technology that makes such a difference for their quality of life,” said the BIHIMA chairman, Paul Surridge.

Source: BIHIMA