Sherbourne Consulting

Case Study: Medical Device Packing in Malaysia for China

Our client was planning to enter the healthcare market in China with a branded medical device sold in pharmacies.

The company needed cost-effective packaging for their product that met both consumer needs and regulatory requirements.

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We were met with problems in China and found solutions in Malaysia to meet our client’s market entry needs.


Photograph of Graham Barker, China consultant

For enquiries, please contact: Mr. Graham Barker
Medical Sourcing Specialist
+44 (0)1789 731 803
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Market Specifics in China

Unlike in Europe, Chinese consumers prefer to have the product packed in printed polythene sachets inside a printed carton. This is then delivered to the pharmacy in outer cartons, containing 10 or more inner cartons.

This would be an expensive pack style for a new market entrant where volumes are not established and automation cannot be justified.

To launch their product, our client needed to find a contract-packing solution with a viable cost base.

In addition, there were strict requirements for:

Contract packers provide a wide range of outsourced packaging services — tailored to a client’s volume, quality, and inventory management requirements.

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Packaging Locally in China?

We carried out a detailed investigation on the costs of contract packing and each packaging component.

Through RFQs to Chinese packaging suppliers and contract packers capable of packing medical devices, we found that:

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However, reviewing the regulations for product registration with the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration, we found that the finished product would be regarded as China-made, rather than UK-made.

This would negatively impact our client’s registration requirements and future product pricing.

Looking in Elsewhere in Asia

Since packing in China was deemed inappropriate in this case, we needed to locate a medical contract packer in Asia that was capable of:

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One such company was identified in Malaysia and visited to establish suitability.

Quotes for contract packing in a class 100,000 cleanroom under ISO 13485 certified processes, met our client’s requirements in full.

Following successful trials, contracts were agreed upon with the client — permitting their product launch to proceed on schedule.

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