Domestic manufacturing of medical devices trending due to COVID-19 pandemic, says GlobalData

Following today’s news that Trump’s tariffs on China could add to the struggle in fight against the coronavirus in the US;

Tina Deng, Senior Medical Devices at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“Placing tariffs on critical healthcare products from China further undermines the US’ response to the outbreak and comes as no surprise. Many other countries have taken a more flexible approach toward importing personal protection equipment (PPE) from China, while others have ceased their export of essential medical devices to other countries.

“Domestic manufacturing of essential medical devices can not only overcome trade barriers, but also ensure product quality and market stability. During the pandemic, counterfeiting and price gouging of imported goods happen frequently with surging demand.

“According to GlobalData analysis, approximately 75,000 more ventilators and 5.6 billion N95 respirator masks are in demand due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the US. The crucial reality is that demand is much higher than domestic manufacturers’ ability to deliver. Supply chains have moved abroad for many years and are highly dependent on imports.

“China has yet to issue any ban on the export of personal protection equipment, ventilators, or raw materials for production since the COVID-19 outbreak. According to Chinese customs data, exports of essential hospital supplies only declined 15% in the first two months of 2020, despite of the surging domestic needs due to coronavirus and the trade war with the US. The Chinese Government has offered to export protective equipment to Italy and other countries after the global outbreak.

“However, despite the hope from China, ramping up domestic production capacity of medical supplies is the major focus for many countries as COVID-19 spreads. From a risk-analysis perspective, relying on imports of essential medical devices is a serious threat to public health security. GlobalData expects a noticeable trend towards moving from a dispersed supply chain back in favor of domestic production for key medical devices.”

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