Medical devices output forecast to grow 7% this year

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, May 18, 2013 - Page 14

The production value of the medical device sector is expected to grow about 7 percent this year from a year earlier, backed by rising demand for contact lenses and blood sugar monitors, a government report said yesterday.

The report by Industry and Technology Intelligence Services (ITIS) said that medical equipment output is estimated to reach NT$81.4 billion (US$2.71 billion) this year, up 7.1 percent from last year.

However, production in the first quarter fell 6.8 percent from the previous quarter to NT$17.8 billion, which ITIS attributed in part to the seasonal slowdown. The figure was also down 1.2 percent from the same period last year.

Despite a slow first quarter, demand for locally made contact lenses and blood sugar monitors remained solid, lending some support to the entire sector, ITIS said.

For instance, contact lens supplier Ginko International Co (金可國際) and many other medical device makers are gearing up to upgrade their manufacturing technology and increase automation to boost output value and lower costs, ITIS said.

The research institute said the two products were expected to continue to drive growth for the local medical device business for the rest of the year.

ITIS expects the sector’s production value to grow 16.9 percent sequentially to NT$20.8 billion in the second quarter.

Last year, the production value of the local medical device business totaled about NT$76 billion, up from NT$68.2 billion recorded in 2011, ITIS figures showed.