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China sets limits on imported medical equipment purchases for the first time

6/23/2014 Source: China Medical Device Information Network

A few days ago, the National Health and Family Planning Commission started the selection of excellent domestic medical equipment. This is the first time that China has conducted a public selection of domestic medical equipment and formed an excellent product catalog.

The reporter learned from the selection and implementation unit, China Medical Equipment Association, that the selection list will provide a reference for the future deployment of medical equipment by health and family planning institutions throughout the country. This will definitely increase the proportion of domestic medical equipment purchases. Currently, Siemens, the United States General Electric (GE) and the Dutch Philips monopolize 70% of China's high-end medical equipment, while domestic equipment accounts for less than 10%.

The industry believes that this move is a statement of the state's competent health department to actively promote the development and application of domestic medical equipment, and it is also a practical measure to alleviate the problem of "expensive medical treatment". It is reported that the current high testing and inspection costs and medical treatment The purchase and maintenance costs of equipment are closely related. Once the localization ratio of high-end medical equipment is greatly increased, the related costs are expected to be reduced by two-thirds.

First selection

A few days ago, the Planning Department of the National Health and Family Planning Commission entrusted the China Medical Equipment Association to start the selection of the first batch of outstanding domestic medical equipment products. The selection targets were domestically produced independent brand products.

Zeng Kai, Technical Evaluation Department of the Chinese Medical Equipment Association, told reporters that this work has begun preparations for preliminary investigations, selection procedures, and drafting standards from the end of 2013. The selection scope includes instruments, equipment, equipment, and consumables.

"At present, high-precision medical equipment and large-scale medical equipment have been monopolized by foreign brands for a long time. The selection will promote the development and application of domestic medical equipment."

It is understood that the selection will be based on standards that meet clinical needs, excellent product quality, market competitiveness, and development potential. After selection, an excellent product catalog will be formed, and a scientific evaluation system for medical device applications will be gradually established, and medical devices will be configured for national health and family planning institutions. for reference.

Zeng Kai told reporters that the exact timetable for subsequent selection has not yet, but the second batch of equipment selection will be carried out in the second half of this year.

The "2013 Blue Paper on the Annual Development of China's Pharmaceutical Industry" released by the China Pharmaceutical Materials Association earlier this year shows that by the end of 2012, China's medical device manufacturing enterprises had exceeded 170,000. Among them, about 90% of medical device manufacturing enterprises are small and medium-sized enterprises with annual production income of less than 10 million or less. There are not many companies that can produce high-tech products with independent brands, such as electronic monitoring equipment and CT, with revenues exceeding 500 million yuan.

This means that competition among companies will be fierce during the selection process.

It is understood that the selection criteria include three parts: main technical parameters, expert evaluation and basic information of the enterprise. A total score of not less than 80 points can be selected into the excellent domestic medical equipment product catalog.

Among them, although the basic situation of the enterprise only accounts for 20% of the weight, the company's size, sales volume, market holdings, financial status and after-sales service will become important quantitative indicators.

The reporter noticed that under the reality that high-end medical equipment, especially CT, MRI, PET-CT and other large medical equipment has been monopolized by foreign brands for a long time, the National Health and Family Planning Commission started the selection of domestic medical equipment, which caused a lot of industry reaction.

"This move will promote the development of domestically-owned branded medical equipment, and it is also a statement that the national health authority is willing to promote the development and application of domestic medical equipment." Chen Jian, Director, Deputy General Manager and Secretary of Yuyue Medical (002223, stock bar) Means.

Monopoly of foreign companies

The research and development of CT (Computed Tomography), MR (Magnetic Resonance), and PET-CT (Molecular Imaging) are all milestones in the history of medical diagnosis. Several scientists who have made outstanding contributions in this field have won the Nobel Prize.

However, it has been 30 years since the first machine was born, and only a few companies around the world can produce these products.

China Medical Equipment Association's 2012 CT and MR equipment market analysis showed that Siemens Medical ranked first in the CT and MR equipment market share. It shared China with the United States General Electric (GE) and the Netherlands Philips. The market for high-end medical equipment exceeds 70%. Insiders predict that in 2015, China will become the world's largest market for high-end medical equipment.

"Only from the top three hospitals, the proportion of domestic high-end medical equipment is quite low, less than 10%." Chen Jian admitted.

In the opinion of Zhang Qiang, president and CEO of Shanghai Lianying Medical, in the high-end medical equipment market, the absence of China's own high-end medical equipment companies has directly led to high sales and maintenance prices of large-scale medical equipment in China. This is also one of the main reasons why Chinese people are "expensive and difficult to see a doctor".

It is understood that a 1.5t magnetic resonance system with a price of 750,000 US dollars in the United States is priced at about 12 million yuan (equivalent to 1.92 million US dollars) in the country. Based on 8 years of use, the maintenance cost is equivalent to 50% of the equipment.

"High-end medical equipment does not mean high prices. The Chinese have the right to enjoy internationally advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies at a reasonable price." Zhang Qiang said.

According to the reporter, the price of items such as PET-CT examination for early detection and diagnosis of major diseases in tumors, brains, and heart areas is as high as 12,000 yuan in some top three hospitals in Beijing, and in some top three hospitals in Shanghai. At around 7,000 yuan. Because the cost of the examination is not covered by the basic medical insurance (reassurance insurance), the high price is prohibitive for many patients.

"We hope that through independent research and development and localization, inspection fees for PET-CT will be reduced by two-thirds." Zhang Qiang said.

Chen Jian told reporters that domestic high-end large-scale medical equipment has a clear price advantage compared with foreign equipment of the same type and level, which can be 40% to 50% lower. "Accelerated localization of domestic high-end medical equipment can effectively reduce the cost of purchasing medical equipment. If domestic equipment can stand on the market, the price of foreign brands will be reduced, at least one-third."

At present, there are not many companies producing large high-end medical equipment in China, such as Neusoft, China Resources Wandong, Shenzhen Mindray, and Shanghai Lianying Medical. Among them, the former two are listed companies.

Industry to be upgraded

In fact, in recent years, the state has introduced some supporting policies for the domestic medical equipment industry.

In the "Twelfth Five-Year Plan", the Chinese government has clearly defined the policy of enhancing the competitiveness of the local medical device industry through strengthening innovation, emphasizing the need to increase local R & D efforts, and established the goal of establishing 40 to 50 high-tech medical device companies.

In 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology provided 1.5 billion yuan of special funds to support the medical device industry in order to "promote the industrialization of new products and the application of new technologies in the medical device field. The focus of support includes medical equipment that masters core components and key technologies."

However, Chen Jian believes that enterprises' support for policy is not very deep. He said that what companies need most is market support, and the market for large medical equipment is hospitals, but at present hospitals, especially public hospitals, are more enthusiastic about the purchase of imported equipment. The market structure has been formed, forming a great barrier for latecomers.

"In the future, there is a saying that the country should respond to the proportion of domestic production of large equipment in large hospitals. When equipment is comparable to foreign standards, domestic equipment should be given priority." Chen Jian said.

During the interview, both the head of the medical equipment company and the domain experts recognized the gap between China and foreign giants in high-end large-scale medical equipment.

"China's medical device companies as a whole have a relatively weak sense of innovation and R & D, and their R & D investment is also low. At present, many domestic medical devices are mostly at the low-end imitation level, which has led to a low level of medical device production in China." Shi Lichen, senior pharmaceutical partner of the pharmaceutical industry center, said that the country is basically lacking in the support of medical device research and development. Simply relying on enterprises to guide and do research and development not only has a long cycle, but also has poor results. More importantly, so far, China's medical device companies have not yet formed their own R & D theoretical system, and they have copied it.

However, Chen Jian believes that, in fact, the technical differences between China's medical equipment and foreign countries are not as great as 10 years ago, and the technical level of high-end medical equipment is approaching the international level.

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