Device companies team up to launch Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association in Singapore

Industry bigwigs are teaming up to create the first medical device industry association focused solely on Asia. The member companies of the just-launched Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association (APACMed) include Abbott ($ABT), Baxter ($BAX), B. Braun, Becton Dickinson ($BDX), Boston Scientific ($BSX), Cardinal Health ($CAH), GE Healthcare ($GE), Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), Medtronic ($MDT), Philips ($PHG), Siemens, Stryker ($SYK) and Zimmer ($ZMH).

The association will be based in Singapore and its CEO is Fredrik Nyberg, who is also a senior director at contract research organization Quintiles ($Q) in that country, according to his LinkedIn profile.

"As members of the global healthcare community, it is our responsibility to ensure patients have access to the most innovative, life-changing healthcare solutions. It is our hope that APACMed will be a unifying voice for the medical devices and in vitro diagnostics industries in Asia Pacific," Nyberg said in a statement.

Focuses of the organization will include the government's regulatory environment, establishment of ethical business standards, compliance, and talent development, and the sustainable development of products and services to address unmet needs in the region, says the release announcing the new organization.

So far, no Asian companies are in the association, but it is in discussions with companies in Japan, Korea, China and Singapore, in addition to an Indian industry association, Nyberg told The Wall Street Journal.

U.S. association AdvaMed recently opened an office in China and interacts with federal stakeholders in other Asian countries including Japan and India.

Top concerns in the region include new clinical trial regulations for medical devices in China that raise barriers to commercialization, inadequate government reimbursement of devices in Japan, and a proposal in India to regulate medical devices separately from drugs. Improving the medical infrastructure is a challenge facing most of the countries in the region, which tends to be less developed than the U.S.

APACMed will host its first Asia Pacific Medical Technology Forum in Singapore from Dec. 9-11.

- read the release
- here's The Wall Street Journal's take