Medical devices are increasingly a top priority for policy makers in China. Innovation and development of new medical devices is now regarded as a key research area by the Chinese government. Momentum for medical devices and implants is growing rapidly in China, and new growth opportunities are expected to increase.
Top level officials, including Premier Wen, consider development of new medical devices to of equal important as drug research. The amount of funding to medical device research and product development will increase with greater government emphasis. By increasing the funding available, the Chinese government is trying to position the country as rival to the biomedical research of the U.S., Japan, and Korea. Meanwhile, interest among private Chinese investors in medical device research is also expected to expand dramatically.
Five years ago, foreign medical device drug eluting stent (DES) products accounted for 90% of the overall China DES market. Today, the local Chinese DES companies account for about 75% of the China DES market. The foreign DES manufacturer’s market share has significantly declined. Currently, imported DES products are still more expensive and of better quality than locally made products. However, the quality of local Chinese DES products is getting better and cost about 65% as much as foreign DES products.