Peru is often overlooked when discussing the rapid-growth economies of South America. While it has neither the size nor the wealth of Brazil or Argentina, the country has recorded strong economic growth in recent years, except in 2009, when economic growth was very modest, reflecting global economic issues. Between 2012 and 2017, GDP is expected to rise every year, reaching a projected US$286.5 billion in 2017. Per capita wealth has risen, especially in and around Lima. This has led to the emergence of a sizeable urban population which demands improved healthcare, and increasingly has the ability to pay for it. Per capita GDP is projected to rise from US$6,530 in 2012 to US$8,838 in 2017.
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The Peruvian medical device market is one of the smallest in Latin America, and per capita consumption is low by regional standards. Decent levels of spending can be found in Lima but provision in the rest of the country is far less. In 2012, the market is estimated at US$311.7 million, equal to US$10.1 per capita. Diagnostic imaging apparatus accounts for 30.8% of the market, followed by consumables (19.6%), patiend aids (6.9%), orthopaedic & prosthetic products (6.5%), dental products (6.4%) and othe medical products (29.7%). The 2012-17 CAGR for the medical device market is projected at 15.6% in US dollar terms.
Peru produces very little medical equipment, so the vast majority of the market is supplied by imports. Medical device imports increased by 14.3% in US dollar terms in the 12 months to March 2012, reaching US$269.6 million. Growth was strong for patient aids, orthopaedic & prosthetic products and other medical products, which registered rises of 40.6%, 35.8% and 25.5% in US dollar terms, respectively. Growth was moderate for consumables, diagnostic imaging apparatus and dental products, which recorded rises of 7.5%, 3.8% and 3.1% in US dollar terms, respectively.
Peru has very little domestic manufacturing, and few multinationals have plants there. Medical device exports are negligible. They increased by 50.1% in US dollar terms in the 12 months to March 2012, reaching US$9.2 million. All product categories increased in the period, except patient aids. The leading product category in the period was consumables, which rose by 66.3% in US dollar terms, reaching US$5.4 million. In 2011, the top five destinations for medical devices were the USA, Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
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Since 2010, the market has seen stronger growth, helped by demand in under-penetrated markets, the adoption of newer-generation hybrid imaging technologies such as PET/CT and a move towards the use of PET from SPECT, necessitating the purchase of new PET systems.
The short-lived positron-emitting isotopes used in PET imaging are generally produced in a cyclotron and then synthesised on-site before patient administration. Although not requiring the use of a nuclear reactor, this limits the use of PET imaging to centres with access to a cyclotron and synthesis equipment. Therefore, a major development is the recent availability of smaller and cheaper cyclotrons which are designed to produce C-11 and F-18 isotopes economically and on-demand, without the need for radiochemistry or PET accelerator expertise.
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