AdvaMed has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the government of Xining municipality in Qinghai province in China, in a deal designed to encourage scientific research, cooperation and exchanges.
Cooperation under the agreement focuses on Qinghai, but AdvaMed hopes to expand it into the region more broadly, says Ralph Ives, the organization’s executive vice president of global strategy and analysis.
China is one of the world’s fastest growing markets for medical technology. Many of AdvaMed’s members have made significant investments there, establishing R&D centers and manufacturing bases that contribute to the country’s growth.
Of the 31 Chinese provinces, Qinghai’s healthcare spending is the third lowest. It is only 0.5 percent of China’s total, or one-eighth of those in Shanghai, for example, says Helen Chen, head of L.E.K. Consulting’s China life sciences practice.
One challenge for the MNC medtech companies in China is the uneven economic development and healthcare infrastructure, Chen tells IDDM. So, while the top hospitals in Beijing and Shanghai are using the latest technology and clinical practices, it takes a long time for such advancements to make it to inland and poorer locales like Xining — if they ever do at all.
“It’s admirable for AdvaMed to launch such an initiative in a place like Xining. If this is purely about commercial impact for their members, they could have selected a much wealthier and accessible city. If they are successful in this collaboration, it would be a great demonstration that the innovative medical technologies can help patients in the remote areas of China, and not only in the urban centers,” she says.
Last year, AdvaMed opened an office in Shanghai, where many of the organization’s members have their Chinese headquarters. That move substantially enhanced AdvaMed’s ability to partner with Chinese authorities and other stakeholders, and provided members expanded opportunities to engage on important policy issues. — Jonathon Shacat