Not satisfied with being the world's biggest health-care products company, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) will expand its already dominant presence in China later this year when it introduces plates and screws manufactured in the country at its Suzhou facility.
|J&J orthopedic chairman Michel Orsinger|
The devices, which are used to mend broken bones, will be introduced as local products and as such will be eligible for higher reimbursements from the Chinese government, Michel Orsinger, chairman of J&J's global orthopedics group, told Bloomberg. Clinical trials in the country have already been conducted for the products, he said.
The company also recently announced an exclusive agreement with Nova Biomedical to supply Chinese hospitals with J&J's StatStrip, a blood glucose testing system. According to the company, one-quarter of the world's diabetics live in China. It's also eyeing the country's $250 million vision market, especially after the Chinese government announced this year it will begin covering vision care, including contact lenses for those younger than 18.
"More and more we realized the importance of becoming a local player," Orsinger told the news agency. "The Chinese market is about one-third composed of imported products and two-thirds driven by local products. Both markets are growing fast, but the local market is growing faster."
Last year, Johnson & Johnson's device sales in China grew 18% to $1.4 billion, the company said.
The New Jersey-based company, which has a 28-year history in China, has steered clear of problems other competitors have experienced in the country. Some have been hampered by government rules, while others, like GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), saw an executive indicted in a bribery probe; and there was an infant formula price-fixing scandal in the country.
- read the Bloomberg story