Kirk Zeller , DBA

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The Japanese medical device market is around a US$30 billion market, making Japan the second largest single-country healthcare market in the world. The Japanese market for medical devices represents 11% of the world market opportunity (Eucomed 2004). Japan imports around 40% of all its medical products and approximately 70% of the products are imported from the United States.

Japan spends approximately 8% of GDP or about US$250 billion on healthcare (per capita spending at over US$2000). Total healthcare spending has increased more than 400% since 1975 and is expected to grow to as much as 13% of GDP by 2010 and 19% GDP by 2025, if the healthcare system does not go through significant reforms. It is estimated that medical devices and equipment account for about 7% of total national healthcare expenditures.

Japan has one of the fastest aging populations in the world as more than 20% of the population is over the age of 65. Currently well over 30% of healthcare expenditures are on the elderly. A recent study found that the cost of treating someone 65 years or older is 7.5 times that of treating someone who is 14 years of age or younger. The elderly will likely continue to strain the Japanese healthcare system for many years to come.

Copyright 2004 Kirk Zeller, All rights reserved