Updated on 14 May 2013
The government has released seven entry point projects (EPPs) for the medical devices sector that will create $5.6 billion in revenue and generate 86,000 jobs by 2020. Malaysia Investment Performance Report 2012 states that a total of 16 projects with investments of $83.5 million were approved in 2012, which are expected to generate new employment opportunities for 1,145 people. Of these, 13 projects were for the manufacture of medical devices other than medical gloves. These projects were mainly for high-end and high value-added products that involve R&D activities.
Among the significant projects approved in 2012, is a new foreign-owned facility to manufacture percoutaneous trans-luminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) / percoutaneous trans-luminal angioplasty catheter (PTA) and coronary stents. This is a knowledge-and-research intensive project that will involve high numbers of science and technical graduates. The technology is the first-of-its-kind in Malaysia and a significant amount of the project cost is dedicated to R&D.
Pharma on the horizon
In collaboration with Sanofi, Malaysia is aiming to bring a dengue fever vaccine to market by 2015, which is currently in phase III clinical trial. There are 259 Malaysian pharmaceutical manufacturers licensed by the Drug Control Authority (DCA), Ministry of Health Malaysia and more than two-thirds of these produce traditional medicines. Malaysian companies have also taken initiatives to collaborate with Asian firms to strengthen their domain.
Malaysia's largest generic drug-maker, Pharmaniaga expanded its operation beyond Malaysia and acquired a manufacturing plant in Bandung, Indonesia, to add 20 percent or $19.54 million (RM60 million) worth of drugs per year to current production output once it is fully operational by 2014.
Similarly, Malaysia-based medical device producers, OSA Niaga and Straits Orthopedics have collaborated with Beijing-based multinational medical supplier Naton Medical to produce a wider range of Malaysian-made orthopaedic products. The JV is expected to generate $1.47 billion (RM4.5 billion) in gross national income (GNI) for Malaysia, which presently imports more than 90 percent of orthopaedic solutions.