Thursday, August 25, 2011

Will China Capture the IVD Market?

As noted in Red Sky Health, the considerable Chinese presence at the AACC’s LabExpo 2011 (some 55 companies) has some companies questioning if Chinese IVD companies will take over the IVD industry in the same manner that the “Made in China” label pervades consumer products? Yes and no according to our analyst Shara Rosen.

Global markets are highly competitive, Chinese companies are relatively new exporters especially compared to its BRIC companion India. Also China’s domestic market may become extremely more lucrative and attractive for home made products.

In 2011, China will enter its 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015). The development goals, directions and industry strategies emphasize the need to fix the perception of China as a comparatively backward nation in technological terms. The government is also cognizant of the huge economic disparities and has turned its attention to increasing its people's prosperity. It plans to do this by placing far greater emphasis on internal markets and domestic demand than ever before. In the healthcare sector, the most obvious strategy is to encourage local companies to take advantage of the country's huge domestic market, which amounts to some 60,000 – 80,000 potential lab customers.

The 12th Five-Year Plan also sets out seven major new strategic industries (healthcare and biotechnology included), for which investment is projected to reach 10 trillion Chinese Yuan over the next five years. The result is expected to be an unprecedented effort to support domestic companies.

The Plan’s strategy in relation to medical devices and IVD products purports to: increase the development of China-made medical equipment; to implement centralized procurement; and to purchase domestic medical devices.

On the demand side, China has announced initiatives to strengthen health services in the interior and rural regions and the thousands of low-tiered hospitals.
So yes, “Made in China” may become ubiquitous in some low-end IVD product segments, worldwide. However, it is more likely that it will take a monumental effort in quality improvement and especially competitive pricing strategies for Chinese companies to create a huge splash in the largest and most lucrative markets in developed countries.
3 days ago