The Future (Ours) is in China for Medtech

The importance of China in the global economy became apparent this week, with the ups and downs of its economic state tripping the hair trigger that financial markets have for the huge nation’s growth market.

But in hard terms, what does that mean? As an example, look at spine surgery technology and compare the forecasted growth in sales in China not against the much lower U.S. market but against other high-growth Asia-Pacific markets such as India and Japan. Below is the balance of spine surgery technology sales (encompassing cervical fusion, thoracolumbar implants, minimally invasive spinal fusion, interbody fusion, and orthobiologics) for 2014 and forecasted for 2021 for China, India, and Japan.

Spine Surgery Sales by Country, 2014 & 2021

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Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #M540

The relative growth of the market in China is apparent in the change of pie slice sizes, but in hard numbers, Japan’s annual sales in 2021 will be $243 million higher than they were in 2014, but by comparison, China’s 2021 spine surgery sales will be $536 million higher than in 2014.

It is evident that China has made great advances in the quality and quantity of research work and in the development of its medical industry and the provision of healthcare in China. According to the International Monetary Fund, the gross domestic product of China was over $8,230 billion in 2012, making China’s economy the second largest economy in the world. China’s life sciences markets have shown particularly aggressive growth in absolute terms, with sales of the country’s reagents and analytical laboratory instruments showing annual growth in the 15% to 20% range. The Chinese pharmaceutical market is growing at 13.1% through 2020 (Source: McKinsey) and projected growth in the in vitro diagnostics market in China is at 10%.

The overall size and growth in China’s medtech market, including spine surgery, demands a business strategy to gain sales there, since no other market worldwide is expected to drive so much new revenue.