ASEAN will Change Healthcare in the Region

As the integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community (AEC) fast-tracks intra-ASEAN trade, regulatory harmonization and free trade of goods will pave the way for opportunities worth US$160 billion in the Asia-Pacific healthcare industry by 2016. Digitization, decentralization and democratization of data will enable patients to take better responsibility of their health, widening scope in the preventive health and wellness markets.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, 2015 Asia-Pacific Healthcare Industry Outlook (, finds that companies will look to differentiate themselves through pricing, positioning and distribution channels in order to capitalize on the widespread demand for preventive healthcare. Consequently, wellness, nutraceuticals and health supplements will become a mass market phenomenon.

“Asian companies will strengthen their position and acquire larger market shares than multinational companies (MNCs), especially in the low- to mid-tier technology space,” said Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Industry Manager Nitin Dixit. “The trend of private companies managing public hospitals and new private hospitals serving public insurance patients will gain traction in India, China and Indonesia.”

Several factors will shape the Asia-Pacific healthcare industry over the next few years:

  • To tackle corruption, countries in Asia-Pacific will introduce price transparency measures and innovative procurement models such as e-catalogues, which will help control medical device prices and generate healthy competition among suppliers
  • IT adoption in primary and community care settings will increase, chiefly in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan
  • Cell therapy, especially stem cell therapy for adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells, will be the most attractive market in South Korea and Japan
  • MNCs will prioritize R&D and launch strategies for the Asia-Pacific market over the needs of markets in the West, primarily to fight challenges such as infectious diseases in the region
  • Singapore is emerging as one of the most attractive hubs for biologics in Asia-Pacific

“International providers are establishing sales subsidiaries in Asia-Pacific countries to widen their operational reach,” added Dixit. “Customizing products to cater to local market needs will be another crucial strategy for companies to bolster their standing in the Asia-Pacific healthcare industry.”