According to iData Research new Asia-Pacific Spinal Implant and Vertebral Compression Fracture market report, spinal implant patients in Taiwan may receive expedient surgical attention, driven by financial incentives offered by local manufacturers and distributors
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According to spinal implant market data released by iData Research (www.idataresearch.com),  the leading global authority in medical device market research, the spinal implant market in Taiwan, excluding minimally invasive spinal implant products, will remain highly competitive. International spinal implant companies seeking to make inroads into Taiwan need to understand the complicated reimbursement landscape. Moreover, the spinal implant market in Taiwan remains modest, projected to remain valued at under US$100 million by 2020.

“Spinal implant cost reimbursement in Taiwan can happen before or after the surgical procedure is performed,” explains Dr. Kamran Zamanian, CEO of iData Research. “If a patient agrees to the procedure before it is reimbursed, to alleviate symptoms and pain more quickly, manufacturers charge lower prices for pedicle screws and fixation accessories used in pre-approval cases in order to promote sales of their higher priced interbody devices. There have been cases of physicians persuading their patients to use the devices prior to approval in order to receive benefits from suppliers.” Whether reimbursement happen pre or post- approval, patients are generally fully covered.

Other key findings from the iData Research report entitled Chinese and Taiwanese Markets for Spinal Implants are:

  • Taiwan Spinal Implant Market Breakdown: Just under half of the spinal implant market in Taiwan comprised interbody fusion device sales. The next largest segment of the market, representing about a quarter of the market value, was the thoracolumbar fixation market. Spinal fixation remains the dominant technology in Taiwan, with products like artificial discs comprising a small percentage of the market value.
  • Aging Taiwanese Population: More than 2.5 million individuals in Taiwan are over the age of 65, making up over 11.6% of the total population. The average age of the Taiwanese population is increasing at a substantial rate. This shift in demographics will drive market growth as the majority of devices in the spinal implant market are indicated for conditions that worsen in severity and incidence with age.
  • Patient Interest Not Translating to Market Shifts or Growth: Patients and physicians in Taiwan grow increasingly interested in products like artificial discs and vertebral compression fracture treatments like vertebroplasty. However, while this interest will enhance growth in corresponding market segments, it will not be enough to supplant dominant fixation technologies.

DePuy Synthes and Medtronic continue to fight over the top market position in Taiwan, but DePuy Synthes’ more dominant presence in spinal fusion products has given them a slight advantage. Domestic competitors collectively held a noticeable portion of the Taiwanese spinal implant market, but not enough to seriously threaten the market leaders. Other leading competitors include Zimmer, Stryker, B. Braun Aesculap and Alphatec Spine.