Peru - Country Commercial Guide
Medical Devices

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-10-07

Overview

Peru was one of the hardest hit countries in South America during the coronavirus pandemic, leading the world in cumulative deaths per capita. This exposed fundamental weaknesses in the country’s healthcare sector but also presents significant opportunities for innovatively building and strengthening it.

Peru is the eighth most populous country in the Americas, with a population of 32 million and an average life expectancy of 76.7 years. The government’s spending reflects its attempts (pre-COVID-19) to develop the health sector. Peru’s 2019 budget included $5.4 billion for the health sector, a 14% increase from the $4.8 billion allotted in 2018. Recent developments have proven this to be gravely inadequate, and the sector remains poorly resourced. Its health budget is one of the lowest in South America; the average investment in health is only 4% of GDP by contrast to an average of 8% in countries belonging to the OECD. Peru’s fragmented health system makes coordinated implementation of policies difficult, and the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the severe inadequacies of the Peruvian healthcare system, which was completely overwhelmed.

Peru’s human resources for health are also low. The WHO recommends 45 health workers per 10,000 inhabitants. Peru has 32 for every 10,000 inhabitants and most are in urban areas – especially Lima. It is estimated that there is one doctor for every 390 habitants and one nurse for every 368 habitants nationwide. There are only two intensive care unit beds for every 100,000 inhabitants, and 700 intensive care physicians. The deficit of specialist doctors countrywide is significant according to the Ministry of Health. Reportedly, as of June 2020, the ICU bed capacity has increased by 2,000 since the COVID-19 pandemic started though temporary beds are being decommissioned as case numbers decrease.

Peru’s healthcare sector has five main entities: (1) The Ministry of Health (MINSA) is the main publicly funded healthcare provider, serving 60% of the population through a network of public hospitals and clinics. MINSA offers Seguro Integral de Salud (SIS), the main publicly funded insurance; (2) EsSalud, the national social security program, is funded by payroll taxes and provides services to 30% of all Peruvians; and, serving the remaining 10% of the population, the (3) Armed Forces, (4) National Police, and (5) the private sector. The Superintendency of National Health also acts as the industry’s supervisory and regulatory body. The Government of Peru stated that improving the healthcare system is one of its top priorities. Medical services have improved as the nation developed rapidly over the past two decades; however, disparity in coverage remains between Lima and the rural Andean and Amazonian regions of the country. In recent years, the national social security agency, EsSalud, has inaugurated two PPP hospitals and will continue to bid new hospitals under this process.

Market Entry

Under the PTPA, medical devices/equipment and pharmaceuticals enter Peru duty-free, provided a U.S. certificate of origin is presented to Peruvian customs. U.S. companies must register their products in Peru by partnering with a local distributor who has the ability to register through the Dirección General de Medicamentos, Drogas e Insumos (DIGEMID). Aside from obligatory registration, working with a local distributor is beneficial due to Peruvian preferences to buy locally from someone who can provide after-sales services. U.S. manufacturers should maintain close contact with end-users and provide training and demonstrations so that end-users can familiarize themselves with the equipment.

A sanitary registration is required to sell medical equipment and devices. The Ministry of Health through DIGEMID is the healthcare authority that regulates the importation of medical equipment and devices. For medical devices, it is mandatory to name a local distributor or representative since the registration will be issued to the Peruvian company. Both public and private hospitals purchase new medical equipment, although used medical equipment is only permitted for individual physicians buying it for personal use.

To succeed in the Peruvian market, U.S. firms should offer competitive pricing. Peruvian buyers prefer modern technology with strong post-sales technical and parts support. All marketing materials and product information should be provided in Spanish.

Opportunities

Over the past few years, Peru has made some progress in improving healthcare infrastructure, expanding access to care, and modernizing public institutions, with the stated goal of universal coverage by 2021. There remains a strong need for facilities and trained personnel to improve equality of health outcomes in areas where disparate quality of access and care is pronounced – a phenomenon that needs to be addressed in both rural areas and in the lesser served areas in big urban centers. Mobile and temporary clinics, chatbots, ventilators, oxygen, specialized treatment medicines, and personal protective equipment are still required as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and potential future outbreaks.

A growing middle class is increasingly turning to the private sector for healthcare and has higher expectations of healthcare providers. About 2 million people are aged 65 or older, and demands for quality elder care and treatment for cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes are on the increase. In stark contrast to the public system, the private healthcare sector has been particularly dynamic, having experienced significant growth in the past five years, buoyed by rising insurance penetration rates. Private investment in the sector has so far reached $400 million with the addition of approximately 1,100 private ICU hospital beds.

The government’s prioritization of the country’s healthcare system and the interest of private companies to invest more in specialized equipment will yield opportunities for foreign medical device manufacturers. Local manufacturing is limited to consumables, basic electro diagnostics, and hospital furniture.

Digitalization and telemedicine, or telehealth, are also priorities for officials in the health sector. In 2019, MINSA approved a new telehealth framework to promote the modernization of health benefits through ICT. The framework aims to bring all health institutions – private and public – under standardised norms and allow health professionals to receive information remotely. Currently there are 2,441 health establishments incorporated in Peru’s National Telehealth Network, providing tele-health services, remote health management, remote information dissemination, education and training to foster healthy lifestyles and strengthen the capabilities of health personnel. Alafarpe, Peru’s Association of Pharmaceutical Laboratories, points out that systems for electronic prescriptions and electronic medical records, among others, should also be adopted. The related implementation of appropriate standards, installation of technological infrastructure and training will also be necessary.

Medical Equipment

2017

2018

2019

2020

Total Exports

11.7

12.2

12.5

12.8

Total Imports

355.6

371.6

380.5

388.9

Imports from the U.S.

79.3

82.7

84.7

86.5

Total Market Size

343.9

359.4

368.0

376.0

Unit: USD millions

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Imports) - Exports

Data Sources: Global Trade Atlas

Key Industry Events

Tecnosalud 2021 – International tradeshow of goods and services for healthcare sector 

Place & Date: Centro de Exposiciones Jockey.  November 10-12, 2021.

Organized by the Lima Chamber of Commerce.

Resources

  • Business Monitor International Research (http://www.bmiresearch.com)
  • Dirección General de Salud Ambiental (DIGESA)
  • Ministry of Health
  • National Institute of Statistics and Informatics
  • INEI (Spanish)