Imports of Medical Device on the Rise in Philippines

Currently, the Philippines medical device market is valued at approximately $200 million. The Philippines’s medical device market is predicted to increase at about 8-10% over the next several years. This growth will be mainly driven by imports, healthcare expenditures, medical tourism, as well as the private sector. The largest buyers of medical devices are private hospitals.

While the country has some capacity to produce domestic products, imports account for 97% of the medical device market in the Philippines. Almost all sophisticated medical equipment is imported. Industry sources indicate that the most popular products in the Philippines medical device market are in the diagnosis and treatment of heart and lung diseases, strokes, and kidney failures. Examples of high-demand devices include electrocardiographs, electroencephalographs, ultrasonic scanning apparatus, dialysis instruments, and pacemakers.

The main medical device governing body in the Philippines is the Bureau of Food and Drug Administration (BFAD), under the Department of Health (DOH). The BFAD regulates food, drugs, medical devices, diagnostic reagents, cosmetics and household hazardous substances in the Philippines.

For medical devices, the BFDA requires the same procedure for all imported devices, regardless of whether they have been registered in the past in other countries. Initial product registration licenses are valid for one year, while Renewal Licenses are valid for five years.