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Life Sciences Sector

Latin America's leading

Med Tech hub

Home to 6 of the top 20 largest
medical device companies in the world

Hundreds of companies trustus

These are a few stories of companies that have relied on Costa Rica to boost their operations and take advantage of the unique abilities our people have:

  • Boston Scientific
  • Allergan
  • baxter
  • Hologic

Boston Scientific

Started operations: 2003Sector: Life SciencesCountry: United States

Boston Scientific is dedicated to transforming lives through innovative medical solutions that improve the health of patients around the world. It is a world leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of minimally invasive medical devices used to diagnose and treat conditions in a variety of medical fields, with an emphasis on Cardiovascular, Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM), Women’s Health, Urology, Endoscopy, Electrophysiology, Neuromodulation, and Pain Management products. The company has more than 15,000 patents issued, a +13,000 product portfolio, and reached US$7.14 billion in revenue in 2013.

With presence in over 100 countries in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and 12 manufacturing facilities globally, Boston Scientific continues to extending its innovations into new geographies and high-growth adjacency markets.

The decision to start operations in Costa Rica was a result of a detailed analysis comparing and assessing several countries. The factors considered were: geographic location, cost, political stability, quality, and talent. Costa Rica´s skilled, well-educated population played an important role in the decision which was made in 2003.

The company started operations about a year later with 139 people at Global Park in Heredia and has had an on-going growth ever since. It did its first Heredia expansion in 2005 and by 2009, it opened a second manufacturing plant (342,000 sq.ft) in Coyol, Alajuela.

This facility was recognized as the country’s first sustainable building (LEED -CI Silver certified) but most importantly hosted the transfer of a Class III cardiovascular device. The company reached over 2.200 employees between the two facilities.

Today, Boston Scientific continues to operate the two plants: Boston Scientific Heredia dedicated to Cardiovascular devices, and Boston Scientific Coyol focused on Endoscopy and Urology applications. 100% of the company´s polypectomy snares and gastrointestinal biopsy forceps are made in Costa Rica.

“Costa Rica has proven to be a compelling, performance-driven location for Boston Scientific. Key drivers for our success at two major sites in Costa Rica include highly committed, multi-disciplined local talent; cross-divisional engagement; growth into R&D, process development and lab competencies; and our close working relationship with CINDE, academia, and the government of Costa Rica.” said Randy Schiestl, VP Global Technology.

A proven success, with over $130 million invested in Costa Rica, has provided Boston Scientific with the needed trust to expand operations and continue to diversify manufacturing products and operations for various divisions.


Started operations: 1999Sector: Life SciencesCountry: United States

Allergan is a leading maker of eye care, skin care, and aesthetic products, including best-selling pharmaceutical Botox. As a multi-specialty healthcare company, it is committed to uncovering the best of science, as well as developing and delivering innovative and meaningful treatments to help people reach their life’s potential.

Allergan’s portfolio of products has grown to include some of the most inventive medicines, devices, and procedures in the world. Allergan’s flagship franchises in eye care, neurosciences, medical dermatology and urologic are structured under the company’s pharmaceutical business portfolio. Breast aesthetics, which includes a wide range of silicone gel and saline breast implant options, dermal fillers, and obesity intervention devices are part of Allergan Medical division.

With presence in more than 100 countries; a rich and ever-evolving portfolio of pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices and over-the-counter consumer products, and state-of-the-art resources in R&D, manufacturing and safety surveillance; Allergan helps millions of patients see more clearly, move more freely and express themselves more fully.

After evaluating other countries in Latin America, Allergan (formerly McGhan Medical) decided to establish a manufacturing plant in Costa Rica back in 1999, mainly because of the highly educated population, political stability, operational costs, and Free Trade Zone incentives offered by the Government.

In 2006, Costa Rica competed with the U.S.A., France, and England for an expansion project, which was finally based in Costa Rica, due to Allergan’s positive track record and competitive conditions that the country offered. The plant expanded to four times its original capacity with an investment of over $13 million.

“Allergan’s new facility in Costa Rica, built in 2007, has the ability to make the current and future number of implants required at the highest quality specifications”.

Raymond Diradoorian,

Executive Vice President of Global Technical Operations, Allergan

The company consolidated manufacturing operations of its obesity control products and breast aesthetics in Costa Rica, which were formerly in Ireland. It now exports Class III devices worldwide from Costa Rica from its state-of-the-art 142,083 sq. ft facility where it has also established a Vice President office responsible for Global Allergan Medical Operations.


Started operations: 1987Sector: Life SciencesCountry: United States

Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX) develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions.

Its global presence and infrastructure is one of Baxter's key strengths, reaching $15.3 billion annual sales. In 2013, nearly 60 percent of Baxter's sales and workforce were outside the United States. As a diversified healthcare company, Baxter and its 61,500 employees, apply a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide.

Baxter’s Medical Products Business manufactures devices that are used in the delivery of fluids and drugs to patients including intravenous solutions (IV) and administration sets, premixed drugs and drug-reconstitution systems, IV nutrition products, infusion pumps and inhalation anesthetics. It is also a leader in Renal home-based therapies, such as peritoneal dialysis, and offers other products and services for people with end-stage kidney disease.

Baxter was a pioneer in Costa Rica as the first Medical Device company to establish back in 1987. A year earlier, Baxter was looking for a location outside de US to expand production of its medical devices. An analysis was conducted to review locations in Latin America and Costa Rica was chosen.

In 1991 Baxter´s facility became independent and continued growth. Two years later it started production of IV solution sets and by 1995 it incorporated the production of IV infusion and administration sets as well.

With the Millennia, new products and processes were transferred to Costa Rica incorporating injection molding and automatic assembly. And in 2003, nutrition sets started production. Irrigation sets, catheter extension sets, and tri-layer sets were also expanded to the Costa Rica manufacturing facility two years later. By 2007, Baxter´s facility in the country was the first plant to receive carbon neutral certification, and was recognized with the 2008 Shingo prize for operational excellence, the first to be awarded to a plant outside North America. Nowadays, this facility supplies finished goods used in 60 countries globally, and subassemblies and provides components to plants in 10 countries. But manufacturing was not the only operation the company is leveraging.

In 2004 "Baxter Americas Services" was opened to handle finance and accounting transactions for Baxter in the Americas. Costa Rica continues to offer key benefits for manufacturing facilities, which were considered in their original analysis: economic and political stability, balance in labor skills and cost, taxes and other country benefits.


Started operations: 2003Sector: Life SciencesCountry: United States

Headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts, Hologic, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX) is a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of premium diagnostic products, medical imaging systems, and surgical products dedicated to serving the healthcare needs of women throughout the world.

Founded in 1985 and with annual earnings of $2,4 Billion in 2013, Hologic is a market leader in mammography and breast biopsy, breast magnetic resonance imaging, radiation treatment for early-stage breast cancer, cervical cancer screening, treatment for menorrhagia and uterine fibroids, permanent contraception, osteoporosis assessment, preterm birth risk assessment, mini C-arm for extremity imaging, and molecular diagnostic products including human papilloma virus (HPV) testing and reagents for a variety of DNA and RNA analysis applications.

After a number of visits to Costa Rica, in 2003 Hologic (formerly Novacept) made the decision to set up a manufacturing plant in Global Park, Heredia. The well-educated, ambitious labor force; stable political and economic environment, availability of infrastructure that provided good communication and transportation; effortlessness of interaction with HQs located in a Central Standard Time Zone and the ease of doing business, were the key drivers to choose Costa Rica over Mexico and China.

Operations initially started with the subassembly of its NovaSure line in 2004, and quickly moved its entire assembly process so that, a year later, the full line was manufactured, packaged and shipped from its Heredia facility to USA. The complete production line for MammoSite followed suit and was brought to Costa Rica in 2006 and a third shift was opened to support the expansion plan.

In 2007, Hogolic announced the construction of its new and current 145,086 sq. ft. facility in Coyol Park, Alajuela, making it six times bigger that its initial Costa Rican plant.

Operating under Class ISO 7 and with 8 clean rooms, Hologic now produces 4 main product lines in Costa Rica: MammoSite –a Targeted Radiation Therapy RTS–, NovaSure –an Endometrial Ablation Device-, Myosure –a fibroid removal device- and Celero - a breast biopsy device-. Final products serve the Europe, Australia, USA and Canada; and will soon be a source for its China market as well.

With 5,500 associates worldwide and over 500 in Costa Rica, Hologic continues its focus on extending its medical systems and solutions to benefit women around the world.

Here’s the full list of currently active companies in this sector:


  • Allergan

  • Establishment Labs



  • Boston Scientific

  • Abbott (St. Jude Medical)

  • Philips

  • Abbott Vascular

  • Medtronic

  • Theragenics

  • Edwards Lifesciences

  • Cardinal Health


contract manufacturers

  • Precision Concepts Medical

  • Viant Medical

  • TEGRA Medical

  • Confluent Medical

  • SMC Ltd

  • Biomerics ATL

  • TE Connectivity (TE Medical Co.)

  • Itek

  • Advant Medical



  • Smith Sterling (a Glidewell Labs Co.)

  • Align Technologies

  • Viax Dental Lab.

  • SmileDirect Club

  • Implant Concierge



  • Boston Scientific

  • Horizons Intl.

  • Apollo Endosurgery


medication delivery systems

  • Baxter Healthcare

  • ICU Medical

  • Moog Medical



  • MicroVention



  • Boston Scientific R&D



  • Coopervision

  • Essilor


orthopedics/sports medicine/ent

  • Smith & Nephew

  • Wright Medical

  • Microport



  • Coloplast



  • Proquinal



  • Bayer



  • Steris

  • Sterigenics



  • Micro Technologies

  • Spectrum Plastics Group

  • Oberg Industries

  • UTITEC Medical

  • Nelipak

  • International Precision Molds

  • Specialty Coating Systems

  • Creganna Medical (a TE Connectivity Co.)

  • Merrill’s Packaging

  • ThermoFisher Scientific

  • Freudenberg Medical

  • PolyOne

  • Applied Medical Precision

  • Okay Industries

  • Prent

  • G.Rau

  • Tekni-plex / Natvar

  • ATL Technology

  • National Building Maintenance

  • VWR

  • CASS

  • Resonetics

  • Interwire

  • Precision Coating

  • Sachs

  • Pharma-Bio Serv

  • Heraeus Medical components

  • CRx Lifesciences (Enhanced Compliance)


surgical devices

  • De Royal


women's healthcare

  • Hologic

  • Bio TD

  • Bayer

  • CooperMedical (Former CooperSurgical)