How can Medical Devices Manufacturing impact Regulatory Affairs jobs in Singapore?
Asia Pacific (APAC) has been experiencing strong growth in demand for medical devices and is forecasted to grow at 7% from 2018 to 2022, surpassing Europe to becoming the second largest market globally reported by KPMG.
In line with that, Singapore’s medical technology sector has recorded an increase of 1.1%, one of the only sectors in the manufacturing space that experienced growth as reported by Economic Development Board (EDB) in a media release in the first quarter of 2022. This was triggered by higher export demand for medical devices, increased incentives from the government, and private sector investments.
Rise of Medical Devices Manufacturing in Singapore
Singapore, being a central hub of APAC, remains a prime location for manufacturing and sourcing for global medical companies. Rapid technological advancements have created products that add value to patients and healthcare systems. Therefore investments are growing both domestically and internationally to drive further innovation in the sector.
Other factors triggering the demand for Medical Devices Manufacturing locally:
- Steady increase in chronic health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases
- Aging population – based on Singapore’s Population Brief 2021, the proportion of citizens aged 65 and above has increased from 10.4% in 2011 to 17.6% in 2021.
- Increase in infectious diseases e.g., COVID-19
- Increased competitiveness from global players therefore creating a need to be sustainable in development in terms of innovation, agility, and versatility
How can demand for Medical Devices Manufacturing lead to the need for bigger Regulatory Affairs teams?
Despite an increase in production and supply, quality of products and equipment need to maintain. As such, regulatory roles play a significant role in this chain to ensure that manufacturing plants remain compliant with standards and regulations.
Ensuring medical devices surveillance monitoring after product is launched in market to ensure any malfunctions or ill occurrences which must be reported to FDA immediately. This is of utmost importance as any product in market that has not been certified or approved by FDA will result in serious consequences.
As such, bigger teams are required to spot trends in compliant data and can utilise this information to prevent medical devices from malfunctions.
Regulatory Affairs trends in Singapore
We sat down with our Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance (RAQA) expert, Alexis Lim, who shared her knowledge on the regulatory affairs industry and what she’s experienced on the ground.
- Shift in regulatory affairs and quality assurance managers requirements to move from people-management to technical
Alexis shared that, “Medical devices manufacturing demand will always remain high. The current growth of roles and needs at this point in time for quality devices, products are crucial especially during times of a global pandemic.”
- Constant need for regulatory affairs and quality assurance specialists
She added, “Singapore remains as an attractive regional hub with more healthcare and life science headquarters settling here. COVID-19 has brought on a surge of new products in the market and these new products requires proper registration processes to be conducted. This is in addition to the different regulatory requirements for different countries within APAC. Thus a demand for more professionals within RAQA is expected."
- Possibility of RegTech in Singapore for Medical Devices
As companies spend more resources and time to understand these documents and ensure that these life-dependent devices comply with the regulation, there are also talks on RegTech, which is currently used across banking and financial services, healthcare and medical devices to aid compliance work.
Companies are beginning to employ labour-aiding technology, often powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) based methods, to do the menial tasks that are critical for compliance. RegASK is leading this adoption in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry by applying technologies including AI, machine learning, natural-language-processing and semantic-graph-engines to a wide range of tasks.
Specifically, these solutions allow customers to look up relevant regulatory information and be forewarned of any potential regulatory changes. As such, companies are better prepared for the future by effectively mitigating the cost of risk towards non-compliance.
Regulatory standards are constantly evolving and changing to suit the demands and needs of the market today. In Singapore, companies can refer to our Health Sciences Authority for Regulatory overview of medical devices.
Top regulatory affairs jobs Singapore 2022
Within the regulatory space, demand for jobs in Singapore include:
- Regulatory Affairs Manager
- RAQA Manager
Whilst the above job titles may sound generic, Alexis has shared that the required scope of the role is evolving from one that is people-management, to individual contributors equipped with the technical knowledge and hands-on experience in product manufacturing and quality assurance.
She added, “Once thought to only cover people management, these regulatory affairs managers are now required to have more technical hands-on experience within the market. This includes being up to date with regulatory changes in the market not just domestically, but regionally and globally to understand how this can impact business located in the region.”
“In short, transferrable skills alone won’t be enough for you to break into this space. One will need ample working experience within medical devices to fully understand the application of RAQA.”
Top Manufacturing Companies in Singapore
Below are some top manufacturing companies in Singapore within medical devices which might interest you to discover with their innovation, up-and-coming products, and exciting job openings in the market:
You may also read about our top 15 pharmaceutical companies in Singapore to watch if you require greater insight to what’s happening on the ground.
How to get a job in manufacturing or regulatory affairs?
If you’d like to find out how you can stand out from the crowd in the current great resignation and great reshuffle, our consultants are here to help. Our expert consultants have insights and networks that can help you break into this sector. You may also refer to our job search page for some of the latest jobs in Singapore.
Alternatively, if your team is in need of niche talent to gear up your product value chain in medical devices, do reach out to us via the form below and we will be in touch!