Health care services and medical devices are in high demand in Pakistan, especially in the growing private healthcare market. Healthcare providers include the government, NGOs, and the private sector. The Government of Pakistan (GOP) spent about US$2.15 billion] on health care in the fiscal year ending June 2016, an increase of 13.05 percent over the previous year.
GOP spent US$ 1.39 in 2016-17 (July-March), an increase of 9 percent for the corresponding period in the last year. But private hospitals and clinics are also expanding rapidly, especially in cities, catering to a rapidly growing middle class. According to Business Monitor International, the medical devices market in Pakistan is worth USD 457.1 million and projected to increase to USD 537.5 million by 2020, a CAGR of 6.2 %. U.S. healthcare services and medical equipment are generally well-received in Pakistan, known for high-quality.
Policy for importing international equipment’s
The GOP imposes no restrictions on foreign direct investment in healthcare services, and allows medical equipment imports under its “Open General” regulations. (Imports of radioactive equipment require Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority approval). Import tariffs range from 0 to 25 percent, depending on category. Some medical equipment is exempt from sales taxes. Price, quality and after-sales service support are major factors in medical equipment purchase decisions. A letter of credit is usually the mode of payment for imports. Government tenders can be time-consuming, while decision-making is typically faster in private hospitals.
Regulatory bodies general information
Key regulators in the sector are the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) and the Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination (MNHSRC). As of 2015, DRAP oversees regulations of medical devices as well. These new regulations include new medical device and in vitro diagnostic (IVD) products, and include requirements for conformity assessments, quality management systems, classification guidelines, authorized representation for foreign manufacturers and related registration steps. The rules cover procedures for registration of medical devices and conformity assessment bodies, licensing of establishments, classification and grouping of devices, post-market surveillance, import and export, labeling requirements, advertisement and ancillary matters. MNHSRC is expected to reduce the costs of certain drugs by 30 percent, however the policy is yet to be implemented.