often can be medical device OEMs themselves. ATEK opened its Costa Rica facility in 2008.
“In recent years, a few have come to
Costa Rica looking at ATEK for their outsourced manufacturing needs. Some have
become so enamored with Costa Rica
and its business-friendly environment
that they have decided to build facilities
of their own. Still, most of the major
OEMs look to ATEK Costa Rica for our
operational excellence,” he said.
And companies aren’t just looking at
Mexico and Central America. South
America is also becoming a manufacturing option for medtech companies.
One example of a firm choosing to
open its own Latin American manufacturing location is the Cardiovascular Division
of St. Jude Medical, based in St. Paul, Minn.
Company officials plan to open a plant in
Brazil and move some production there
from the United States. The Brazilian facility is currently being built, but executives
hope to start shipping products from the
plant by the fourth fiscal quarter of 2010.
“The stability is fine, but the government
is expected to
grow at an
annual rate of
4. 6 percent
is slow in processing and meeting our
needs,” said Bryan Szweda, senior director
Despite the challenges that medical
device contract manufacturers face, the
Latin American medical device market is
expected to grow at an annual rate of 4. 6
percent until 2013, according to a report
by Espicom Business Intelligence.
Mexico is the second-largest medical
equipment market in Latin America, valued at $1.9 billion in 2009, the report
stated. Brazil had a market size of $2.6
billion in 2009.
The Chilean market for medical
equipment and supplies was at $334 million in 2009; at a per-capita level it is the
second highest in South America, behind
only Brazil, according to Espicom’s report.
In Colombia, expenditures on medical
equipment is slightly under $11 per person. The medical device market there is
heavily dependent on imports and is concentrated around its capital, Bogota, which
offers a free trade zone. These factors en-