Skyrocketing Diabetes in Asia

The Asia-Pacific market (including China, Japan, and India) for diabetes-related devices is predicted to reach between US$7 and US$10 billion by the end of the decade. Growth in the glucose monitoring device market is particularly strong, with growth rates estimated at 15% per year to 2019. Demand is soaring for products such as insulin needles and syringes, infusion sets, injection ports, and most significantly, continuous glucose monitors.

Many international medical device businesses such as Medtronic, Lifescan, and Abbott Laboratories have capitalized on the strong demand for diabetes products. Medtronic’s Vice President (Mr. Hooman Hakami) has even stated that due to the large and growing demand for diabetes products in China, he expects that future sales in China will represent 20% of Medtronic’s global diabetes revenues, as opposed to the 2.5% of global revenues that China currently accounts for.

Since public awareness in Asia for diabetes is still relatively low compared to the U.S., Europe and Canada, medical device companies have also entered into partnerships with Asian companies to educate patients and physicians about diabetes. For instance in November 2014, Johnson & Johnson partnered with Mitsubishi Tanabe to promote glucose control in Japan. Both companies have designed and distributed pamphlets to educate patients about diabetes and promote Mitsubishi’s two diabetes medications and Johnson & Johnson’s glucose monitoring device. Expect to see more of these kinds of diabetes-related partnerships throughout Asia going forward.