As our previous article discussed Europe as a dynamic cross border fertility care market, this week, we will go over an equally compelling market for fertility related medical tourism in Asia. The region of Southeast Asia - in particular Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand- has quickly emerged as the go-to spot for fertility medical tourism in Asia.
The IVF market size across Southeast Asia is estimated to be ~$2.5B, and this only accounts for single cycles without testing and medication, which typically comprises 20-40% of IVF treatment costs. Although the market size for Southeast Asia may seem small relative to the European and U.S. markets, the market is growing rapidly due to various factors. These factors include China’s spill over demand post-One Child Policy, increase in acceptance of social egg freezing, and affordable high-quality treatments as compared to other markets. Of course, mimicking the rest of the world, there are also additional macro trends in play such as people marrying later in life, changes in diet and lifestyle that negatively impact fertility, and increased acceptance of fertility treatments in Southeast Asia.
When looking at the market penetration rate of assisted fertility across the globe, the average penetration in Southeast Asia (~.28%) is relatively low as compared to other demographics such as Europe (~2-10%) and the U.S. (~2%). However, this also represents an opportunity of high growth in the market. With just a 2% penetration rate, Southeast Asia’ market will balloon to ~$18B, not including testing and medication.
When compared to the average cost of IVF in the U.S. of $25K, the cost for IVF cycles in Southeast Asia is significantly more affordable. Diving deeper into the specific markets the total number of IVF cycles, average IVF cycle pricing, and the market size can be summarized below:
Looking at Southeast Asia’s regulatory landscape for infertility treatment, the landscape is less stringent as compared to China’s regulations, setting the region to capture most of the Chinese patients seeking fertility treatments. This makes the region's market quite attractive, as it sits right below one of the biggest populations in the world.
This is especially true when it comes to social egg freezing, which refers to egg freezing with the goal to preserve healthy eggs without a marital certificate. China does not allow social egg freezing whereas Southeast Asian government acceptance of such procedures has been unanimous. When it comes to Egg and Sperm donations, all of the Southeast Asian regions allow the usage of donor gametes besides Indonesia, whereas China does not allow any usage of donor gametes. Lastly, perhaps one of the most important procedures during the IVF process, the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis has been accepted by all governments as well. With social egg freezing becoming more and more popular among Southeast Asian countries, it is highly likely that the government will become more flexible when it comes to IVF procedures.
If there is one key take-away from this short read, it is the potential of growth in the Southeast Asian markets. To capture this growth, we have invested in Generation Prime, an end-to-end IVF service provider with an exclusive diagnostic and technology layer. Taking a multi-market approach, and taking advantage of regulation differences in Southeast Asian regions, we aim to streamline the fertility journey for all child seeking patients (read more here).
With our incubation partner Shamrock Holdings (an investment vehicle for the Disney Family), we are excited to be building the leader of IVF health services in Southeast Asia and create the first championship fertility clinic chain in Southeast Asia!