Orthopaedic products expected to cost 30% less with new joint-venture

PUTRAJAYA - The cost of orthopaedic products used in major surgeries such as hip and knee replacements can be expected to go down by at least 30% in Malaysia, following plans for local production by a newly-formed RM100mil-joint-venture company scheduled to go into operation early next year.

Sima Medical Sdn Bhd - a collaboration between Chinese company Naton Medical Group and Malaysian outfits OSA Technology Sdn Bhd and Straits Orthopaedic Inc would be located in Penang, according to OSA Technology chief executive officer Dr Hyzan Mohd Yusof who spoke to reporters after the signing ceremony for the joint-venture.

OSA Technology chief executive officer Dr Hyzan Mohd Yusof pointed out that the current cost of arthroplasty implants, such as knee replacements, were expensive as they were imported.

“What we will produce will cost between 30% to 50% lower, and whatever profit we make will go into improving the technology,” he added.

Straits Orthopaedic senior vice-president, TH Su, said it was important to “capture and understand” the Malaysian market and make it into a strong base of operations before spreading their wings into the Asean market.

Su said the potential for the growth of the orthopaedic products industry was high, noting that some 80% of the USD46bil global industry services were taken up by the United States, Europe and Japan, that had just 20% of the world population but a larger segment of an aging population.

Su said with more countries - especially in Asia - expected to reach developed status in the near future, it would mean many more from the remaining 80% of the world population would need such products.

“Within the next five years, we expect to make a minimum of US$100 million (RM306 million) in sales, and all our products will have Made in Malaysia on them,” he said.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the orthopaedic products industry was an important branch of the medical devices industry and expected to contribute RM11.4bil to the gross national income (GNI) by 2020 and create some 86,000 new jobs in the process.

“Orthopaedics alone is expected to contribute RM4.5 billion in revenue. It is a big industry and we have the strength and capability to push ahead.

“With Naton coming in to expand the market, we can head towards becoming a (orthopaedic products) hub,” he said.

Source: The Star

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