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Narrow in the West Coast of the South America region, Chile is representing one of the most developed Latin American countries in terms of the Social Security System and the Healthcare market.

Most likely around 99% of the Chilean Population is insured and enrolled in one of the two Social Security Systems – Public and Private – FONASA and ISAPRE. Its Healthcare System looks back to more than two doctors per 1000 inhabitants and two hospital beds per 1000 inhabitants, significantly higher than the Latin American average.

Even if the population of Chile is smaller in comparison to the neighbour countries – circa 18 Million inhabitants – its Pharma Market is estimated to be around 4219 Billion of US$ with an expected growth of 4,7% until 2030.

Chile Infographic on its Economic Situation with Population, Growth Rate, GDP, Average Wage

Due to its small size, Chile is usually not the priority country in Latin America, especially in comparison with the most populous countries like Mexico and Brazil. However, it is the country with the highest relative expenditure for Healthcare in Latin America with 9% of its Total GDP. The biggest medicine segment is represented by Patented Drugs, however the generics market is showing the highest potential of growth.

The most developed Pharmacy chains are Salcobrand and Farmacias Cruz Verde but buying medicines in normal pharmacies is not the main habit. In fact, patients insured via FONASA – the public social security system – can receive medications from state-owned Pharmacies. On the other hand, privately insured patients – signed up with ISAPRES – have to purchase the medicines from community Pharmacies.

Good Market, good healthcare potential, and expected growth. Chile is small but full of opportunities!

As one of the few winners against the pandemic with modest financial resources, is the Vietnamese pharma market ready for international investments and colaborations?

The Covid-19 outbreaks and Vietnam’s remarkable performance in containing its spread have proven that health is, and will absolutely continue to be, a priority for most Vietnamese and as well as for the government. 

The societal shift that is creating opportunities for Vietnam’s Pharma and OTC  industry

Like most countries identified as emerging markets, Vietnam is undergoing drastic changes in terms of demographic, social, and economic aspects. Most recently, there are some significant shifts that make Vietnam more and more competent in becoming a top-of-the-list for international companies that are looking to expand their business in emerging markets. 

 

The first and most important factor in this equation is the fast-growing middle class in the country. Vietnam currently has the fastest-growing middle-class population in South-East Asia. This has significantly boosted the demand for high-quality and specialized healthcare services.

 

Subsequently, due to higher demand and affordability, the health insurance and hospital systems are expanding. Vietnam has become a coverage ratio leader within Asia and it has set a goal of covering 95% of the population with Universal Health Service by 2025. The Hospital network is also fairly extensive and the government continues to finance the construction of new hospitals. At the same time, it is also increasingly looking at investment from the private sector and international firms. 

 

As a result, the country recently signed the European Union Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EUVFTA). The agreement will remove tariffs for pharmaceutical products from the EU and allow foreign companies to import and sell pharmaceuticals to Vietnamese distributors and wholesalers. 

 

Furthermore, there was an Amended Law on Enterprise and Law on Investment, effective January 2021, that incentivizes investment in five key sectors including healthcare. Projects in these sectors will benefit from preferred enterprise income tax, exemption or reduction of land lease fee, and credit support.

Finally, investors should also pay attention to the development of Digital Healthcare in Vietnam. Recently, the Ministry of Health approved a five-year project on remote medical examination and treatment. Apps and medical services will be developed to manage files and knowledge systems, as well as helping patients find medical information, make their appointments, and consult doctors. These measures will accelerate the digitalization across Vietnam’s hospital network. 

Overall, investors can be optimistic about the future of Vietnam’s Healthcare Industry. The societal changes, as well as the government’s regulatory activities in favor of the development of the sector, have made Vietnam one of the most attractive go-to emerging markets for companies and individual investors. 

Ho-Chi-Minh City