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US analyst: Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market to outdo neighbours’   2008-12-23 - VNA

Research and Markets, a US leading market researcher, said the Vietnamese pharmaceutical market is expected to overtake its neighbours in the coming years although it only ranks 12th out of 14 key regional countries in the company’s Business Environment Rankings for late this year.

Key reasons for this, the company said, include the expected Vietnam’s double-digit growth over the next five years, healthcare system reform and the improvement in intellectual property rights (IPR) protection.

Research and Markets stressed that low per capita expenditure, a strict pricing regime and the prevalence of counterfeit medicines continue to represent major drawbacks to investing in the market.

Nevertheless, the Vietnamese authorities appear firmly committed to clamping down on counterfeit trade, with the Ho Chi Minh City Market Management Department seizing a considerable haul of illegally imported traditional medicines in September 2008.

The country is currently contending with hospital overcrowding. A promising sign is that there are a growing number of private facilities offering advanced services, which are increasingly attracting foreign patients.

The market examiner cited reports from a September 2008 issue of Vietnam News daily, suggesting that Vietnam’s Ministry of Health is addressing the countrywide shortage of hospital drugs and medical devices, as well as holding discussions with drug companies over ways to alleviate the problem.

Immediate measures have been taken to restore drug supplies, including forcing large companies to comply with their contracts, allowing hospital directors to purchase batches of drugs with a value less than 100 million Vienam dong (more than 6,000 USD) and fining smaller drugmakers that have not fulfilled their contracts.

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