Medical Devices Market
China has seen a significant growth in its medical device industry. Even so, the sector still offers a large growth potential. Considering its large population, the industry is relatively underdeveloped.
In 2011, total revenues of 135.4 billion CNY (21 billion USD) were added by the medical device industry. The double digit annual rate growth rates of the medical device industry give China the capacity to make it as the second-largest market before 2020.
The Chinese domestic medical device industry has too many fragments. Over 80 per cent of the 14,000 medical device manufacturers in China are small and middle-sized enterprises, which focuses mainly on the lower-end medical device market. The highest concentration of domestic manufacturers is found in the regions of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shandong.
Investment Opportunities for Foreign Companies
China is aiming for a sustainable healthcare system. The medical device industry is a competitive realm. For products to have added value and competitiveness, they must have some distinctive characteristics.
Domestic companies already have the competitive advantage in view of the prices offered, so foreign companies find it difficult to compete in the low-end segments. Approximately 80 per cent of all high-end medical devices in China are manufactured by foreign companies.
Case Study: Applikon Biotechnology BV
The company is a global leader in innovative bioreactor systems. The plant will manufacture bioreactor systems that will be supplied primarily in China and the Asia-Pacific region.
The production facility is a joint venture with a Chinese distributor where Applikon holds 60 per cent of the shares.
Applikon believes that Patience is required for foreign companies to achieve something in China. Critical success factors are also shorter delivery times for the local market and faster after sales service.
Pharmaceutical and Biotech Sector
China is today’s largest pharmaceutical market in the world. The economic growth of the country in the past decades has been remarkable. The healthcare spending in China is also on the rise.
Large number of large volume, low value manufacturers of generics and Traditional Chinese Medicine characterize the Chinese pharmaceutical industry. Of the 50000 pharmaceutical companies in China, 20 percent of the share comes from the top 3 Big Pharma of China while the US has over 80 per cent.
However, the pharmaceutical landscape is about to change in the coming years. The Chinese government is taking major initiatives to upgrade China’s pharmaceutical sector and grow more innovative and competitive sector.
Case Study: Hecolin
It was by the end of October that the first vaccine for Hepatitis E vaccine was launched on the Chinese market. The vaccine hecolin is the product of joint efforts and investment by Xiamen University National Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious and Xiamen Innovax. The vaccine is proven to be effective in preventing infection among almost 100,000 healthy participants.
Healthcare Services Sector
China’s health reforms provide opportunities related to all aspects of the healthcare system.
During the past decade, China has increased its investments in hospital construction by about 20 per cent annually. The country has also invested USD11 billion per annum in healthcare facilities. China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) aims to build new hospitals and upgrade the existing ones.
China is also looking into innovating in the way healthcare will be provided. According to one survey, 80 per cent of the Chinese believe that e-health solutions are the future of healthcare in the country. E-health is expected to be the answer to the huge population of China, especially in remote areas, as well as the lack of access to well-trained doctors in an acceptable travelling distance.
The Chinese government is also seeking ways to train doctors and nurses. To improve the quality of healthcare, qualified doctors and nurses must be available.
With the decreasing willingness of children to take care of their elderly, there is also an increase in the demands for elderly care.