COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus, has been of increasing public concern in recent months and has now infected over 100 000 people worldwide. The rise of cases has had a clear impact on industries and the economy, and the cosmetic and medical device industries are no exception.

The impact was first seen in China due to the lockdown in Wuhan, preventing citizens from leaving their homes. A large part of the cosmetic market is in China, but due to the lockdown, sales of cosmetic products have declined. Also, as many cosmetic companies rely on Chinese suppliers for their cosmetic materials, a delay or decrease in production has been seen by many. Finally, the medical device industry has seen a decrease in revenue due to fewer non-emergent procedures in China. This drop in elected procedures has caused lower than expect revenues for medical device companies in China.

Most recently, there have been many cancellations of public events, such as conferences and tradeshows, to prevent further spreading of coronavirus. This has involved the first cancellation of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society in 58 years, which was to take place in Orlando, Florida. This event was expected to have many health care professionals in attendance, and therefore the risk was too extreme to rightfully have the event. Another cancelled event was South by Southwest, a music, film and technology festival which was to take place in Austin, Texas and has been known for featuring the latest medical devices. Both events are currently exploring the possibility of hosting a virtual event to make it up to the disappointed attendees.

Other events have been more hopeful and have postponed to a later date. For example, in-cosmetics Global, an event for personal care ingredients, was to take place in Barcelona, Spain at the end of March, but has now been postponed to the end of June. However, there has been no prediction or expectation for the coronavirus to subside. Therefore, it is difficult to say if postponing, cancelling, or taking an event virtual is the best way to handle this unforeseen circumstance. One thing we can be sure about, this impact on the cosmetic and medical device industries will continue until coronavirus becomes less prominent.

For more information on the cancellation/postponement of the mentioned events, please visit South by Southwest, in-cosmetics Global, and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. For the most recent information on COVID-19 please visit the WHO.

For more information, please contact Focal Point Research Inc. We are leading North American Regulatory and New Product Consultants for Medical DevicesNatural Health ProductsOTC DrugsCosmetics, and other consumer products regulated by Health Canada and the U.S. FDA

Emily Campbell