BRUSSELS (Jan. 31, 1 p.m. ET) — In Brussels in December, many speakers at the Plastics in Medical Devices conference agreed that the developed markets, unlike in many other areas of the plastics industry, will lead growth in medical plastics.
Chairman Iain Simpson, associate director of the global medical technology practice at UK-based Cambridge Consultants, noted that the US market is worth $100 billion, while the European Union market adds up to $70 billion.
“The markets in China, India and Brazil will double in size up to 2015 but, overall, they will remain a very small part of the global market,” he said. “For example, the spend per diabetic is 10 times higher in the U.S. compared to Asia, and southeast Asia accounts for only 0.8 percent of global expenditure.”
During a panel discussion, Chris Nother, director of business development at Nypro, noted that the medical markets in countries such as China still pose problems for Western companies.
“In China, we don't know whether traditional medicine will last,” he said. “We expect the East will become more Westernized but we can't be sure. Does the East really want to emulate the West?”
Other panel speakers said how the size of countries in Asia can cause problems for Western companies interested in establishing a base there.
Bert Heijne from Eastman said: “It takes time to build up the technical expertise of companies you want to work with. My colleagues in China have huge distances to cover as they have to go and see all the people they work with.”