Updated on 24 May 2012
The output of Taiwan's pharmaceutical industry in 2011 reached $2.2 billion (NT$67.05 billion), according to the figures provided by the Department of Industrial Information, Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB). Figures from DCB state the revenue of Taiwan's biotechnology industry to be $7.8 billion, while the domestic market is worth $10.6 billion.
Till 2010, the biotechnology industry employed 1,355 people and there were 580 companies functioning in the sector. Most of these companies are small- to medium-sized in capital and are in the technology or product development stage.
According to Business Monitor International, the pharmaceuticals expenditure market is estimated to be at $4.5 billion in the second quarter of 2012, 2.7 percent down from $4.59 billion in the same period last year. The market however is expecting a 4.2 percent growth when calculated in local currency. (The forecast in US dollar is lower because of exchange rate fluctuations.)
Espicom has noted that the Taiwanese pharmaceutical market is projected to grow at a low double-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in dollar terms in the coming years. This will make Taiwan the seventh largest pharmaceutical market in the Asia Pacific region. Many multinationals are active in Taiwan. However, majority of them have only sales and marketing operations as they are deterred from establishing manufacturing operations due to the unequal drug pricing system.
Taiwan is heavily dependent on the imports of retail medicaments, which represented over three-quarters of the total imports in 2010. Combined with limited pharmaceutical exports, the balance of pharmaceutical trade will remain considerably negative and the deficit is likely to increase in the forecast period.
BMI predicts a 3.6 percent dip in the healthcare market in terms of US dollars. Similarly, the medical devices market is expected to see a slight dip in 2012 from $1.67 billion in 2011 to $1.62 billion in US dollars while in terms of local currency terms it is expected to see a growth of 3.9 percent.