The price of imported medical equipment is more than 50% higher than that of the country of origin

The China Medical Materials Association released the "2013 China Medical Device Blue Book". Chen Hongyan, secretary-general of the Medical Device Branch of the China Medical Materials Association, said that this is the first blue book released by my country's medical device industry. The book predicts that China's annual import and export of medical equipment will reach 33 billion US dollars, and points out that the price of imported medical equipment is generally 50%-100% higher than that of countries of origin such as Europe, America and Japan, such as TOMO radiotherapy system and other equipment. Most of the country's imports are 2.5 million US dollars, and my country's imports are mostly more than 5 million US dollars.

Medical equipment is 15 years behind the international

Some imported equipment purchases are mainly made by the government, which increases the financial burden. Not only that, but what is more serious is that the after-sales and maintenance of imported equipment are carried out by the original company's specialized personnel. Once the maintenance is delayed due to some reasons, the supply of consumables is interrupted, and the use of the equipment will be paralyzed. In addition, the core technology of high-end medical equipment is in the hands of foreign companies, and information security such as medical diagnosis, treatment data and patient medical files also faces huge risks.

The industry believes that in the global medical technology and biomedical landscape, China's competitiveness is not the drugs with the largest output value, but the traditional Chinese medicine promoted by the state and the medical devices that spontaneously form certain advantages. However, the "Blue Book" pointed out that the gap between the overall level of China's medical devices and the international advanced level is about 15 years. Domestic medium and high-end medical devices mainly rely on imports, and the import value accounts for about 40% of the total market. The importing companies are mainly internationally renowned companies. About 80% of the CT market, 90% of the ultrasound equipment market, 85% of the inspection equipment market, 90% of the magnetic resonance equipment market, 90% of the ECG machine market, 80% of the mid-to-high-end monitor market, and 90% of the high-end physiological recording market The market for sleep charts and 60% of the market for sleep charts are occupied by foreign brands. The focus of competition among multinational enterprises is design concept, product quality and after-sales service, and high-quality products are favored by large domestic hospitals. Therefore, foreign products are mostly sold to large domestic hospitals, especially tertiary hospitals.

35% of products exported to domestic sales

In the first half of the year, my country imported medical devices from 89 countries and regions. In the import and export data, about 35% of the products or their main components are produced in China, first exported abroad, and then imported into China for sales. From the perspective of import regions, Europe is my country's largest source of medical device imports, North America is the second largest source of imports, and Asia ranks third. The three continents accounted for 97.57% of the total imports. From the perspective of specific importing countries and regions, the top ten are the United States, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, South Korea, Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Singapore, with a total import value of 5.71 billion US dollars, accounting for a total of 83.86 %.

These data show that my country's medical device industry chain is dominated by foreign multinational companies in the high-end value chain, and many key technologies are still monopolized by large companies in developed countries. Domestic companies only occupy a part of the low-end value chain. There are a few domestic companies entering the high-end product market, and they often fail to form a R&D team with independent innovation capabilities. As of the end of 2012, the scale of medical device manufacturers in my country has reached 177,788, and about 90% of the medical device manufacturers are small and medium-sized enterprises with low production technology with an annual income of less than 10 to 20 million. However, there are not many companies that produce electronic monitoring equipment, ultrasonic diagnostic equipment, X-ray tomography equipment, CT and other high-tech products with their own brands and have an income scale of more than 500 million yuan.

Chinese companies lack strategic innovation

The "Blue Book" pointed out that domestic companies are struggling to compete for the meager profits in the low-end market, while foreign medical device giants occupying the high-end market have a better view. The root of this strong contrast lies in the domestic medical device market. Lack of strategic planning and integration, it is impossible to form a R&D team with independent innovation capabilities.

Caretium Medical Instruments Co., Limited was founded in 2001, a high-tech company focusing on the research and development, manufacturing, sales and after-sale service of in-vitro diagnostic equipment and reagents. Caretium has been certified as China’s national “High-tech Enterprise” from 2011, got CE mark, ISO 13485, ISO 9001, GMP certified by South Korea and other certifications. 

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