Healthcare, pharmaceuticals and medical devices

1. Health


Colombia is the fourth largest health market in Latin America.

Colombia has 96% of healthcare coverage and due to the continuous effort and commitment of the Government, universal coverage is projected for the next years.

Healthcare expenditure in Colombia represents 7,2% of the GDP. The National Government puts in 75% of the national expenditure, while the privates (out-of-pocket expenses) contribute the remaining 25%. The rest of Latin America presents different proportions, reporting an average of 56% and 44% of government and private spent respectively.

Bogotá, city of health

20% of the healthcare system affiliates are in the Bogotá-region, followed by the states of Antioquia with 13% and Valle with 9%. Also, the quality of the institutions of Bogotá stands out, 7 of the 44 best hospitals in Latin America are located in the city.

Over 94% of the population of Bogotá is covered by the healthcare system, 83% of these belong to the contributive system, 16% are part of the subsidized scheme and the remaining 2% are classified among the exemption regime.


  • Improvement in the offer of health prevention services.
  • Implementation of technology and innovation, in order to upgrade the efficiency of the service delivery.
  • Expansion projects for the IPSs (Healthcare Provider Institutions), due to the growing demand for health services.
  • Improvement and enhancement of research centers.


2. Pharmaceuticals

The pharmaceutical industry in Colombia has great potential, due to the sustained market growth. From 2013 to 2016 the sales in Colombia presented an annual average growth rate (CAGR) of 5,64% in local currency (COP).

All the categories of this market present dynamic growth, reporting an average annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2013 and 2016 of 5,55% for generic drugs, 5,97% for patented medicines and 5,14% for OTC products.

This market concentrates in Bogotá, where 82% of the commercial operations of the sector take place. In addition, 67% of the pharmaceutical manufacturing companies located in the city, as well as over 50% of the medicines wholesalers. Additionally, Bogotá has a smart specialization strategy that brings into focus the productive approach of the city towards advanced health services and pharmaceuticals.

Colombia is a global pioneer in the regulation of pharmaceutical products, leading several processes replicated in many countries. In addition, the National Institute of Surveillance of Medicines and Drugs (INVIMA), is an international reference entity, qualified with the maximum level by the Panamerican Health Organization.

Bogota has potential to be the hub of development of chemical synthesis medicines, based on the biodiversity of the country.



  • Substitution of imported chemical products and excipients, with potential for local production.
  • Development, production, and distribution of biological, biosimilar and chemical synthesis medicines.
  • R&D of molecules and ingredients, making the most of the Colombian biodiversity.
  • Nutraceutical products: development and identification of materials for their production


3. Medical Devices

Colombia has successfully positioned itself as the third largest market in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico. Business Monitor International forecasts indicate that Colombia is projected to stay in this rank for 2019.

This position is the product of the dynamism of the sector in Colombia. This segment has presented average annual growth rates between 2008 and 2016 of 12,7% in local currency (COP) and of 6,9% in USD. In Colombia, the medical device sector presents strong reliance on imports, these represent 84% of the total sales. This is one of the reasons that lay up great opportunities for local production, in order to gain competitiveness in strong variations cycles of the exchange rate.

Bogota represents 75% of the sales. The city offers several advantages for producers, this is demonstrated with the concentration of manufacturers in Bogota, 50% of them locates in the capital.

Growth of the medical device market in Colombia



  • High potential for imports substitution.
  • Establishment of regional logistic hubs, making the most of the geographic advantages and commercial agreements of the city and the country. (Extended market: 1.450 billion people and USD 44 trillion)
  • Production of raw materials for articles with different ranges of technological sophistication.



Updated: 12/22/2017