Thailand is raising its quality control standards on local manufacturing of medical devices. According to Thai government officials, a medical device institute may be set up as a testing center for quality standards. New quality standards are also expected to be outlined by the Thai government. This is to enhance Thai medical device manufacturers’ competitiveness in South East Asia, in terms of design, research and development and product quality. Key medical devices manufactured in Thailand are diagnostic and laboratory reagents, radiation treatment apparatus as well as oscilloscopes and spectrum analyzers.
There are currently about 1,700 medical device companies in Thailand. 80% of these companies are local. Nevertheless, Japanese medical device manufacturers are gradually penetrating the Thai market, targeting local public hospitals. In 2009, Thai public hospitals accounted for 60% of medical device purchases in the country.
Thailand’s medical device market in 2010 totaled about $700m. This was larger than neighboring countries such as Indonesia, at $400 million and Malaysia, at $600 million during the same year. The Thai government expects the country’s medical devices to grow to $1.2 billion by 2015. About two-thirds of Thailand’s medical devices are imported. These are mainly from the United States, which account for almost 30% of these total imports.