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June 26, 2017

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Taiwan urged to develop a medical device manufacturing industry

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan can use its strong manufacturing capability to develop a medical equipment sector and take advantage of a global market that could be worth US$2 trillion by 2020, Academia Sinica President Chi-Huey Wong said Monday.

Speaking at a meeting of the Executive Yuan's committee on strategies to develop the biotechnology industry, Wong observed that Taiwan's biotech sector has yet to take off because it lacks companies that can develop new drugs and produce high-end biotech medical equipment and devices.

That weakness could prevent Taiwan from grabbing a share of the global biotech manufacturing market, which was worth US$800 billion in 2006 and is expected to reach US$2 trillion in 2020.

Wong believed that Taiwan did have some advantages in developing its biotech sector thanks to the government's continued investment, related regulations that are similar to those of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and academia's innovation and R&D prowess, Wong said.

He acknowledged, however, that Taiwan is also beset with disadvantages. It has few products that generate high profits, rarely conducts pre-clinical and early-stage clinical trials and enforces laws and manufacturing standards that are not yet in line with international practice, Wong said.

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