It is evident that gaining access to any country’s healthcare market requires awareness of its cultural, financial and economic factors as well as facing the local political changes and laws. For every targeted country in the CIS region, these factors are always very specific.
With its charming capital, Tbilisi, a robust wine culture (it was the birthplace of the beverage!), the Black Sea and the Caucasus mountains, Georgia is a unique country—and it’s also a main gateway for land transportation from Europe to Turkey and Central Asia, making it an attractive hub for doing business in the region. Moreover, the Georgian market, with its attractive tax and customs regulations, represents one of the world’s most liberal free economic zones. That’s why the country was ranked twelfth of 175 countries in the World Bank’s 2011 Ease of Doing Business report. All these factors have attracted the attention of foreign investors.
In order to get an accurate picture of the Georgian healthcare market, the following indicators should be considered:
- Statistical data to analyse market growth
- Potential competitors
- Regulatory arrangements
The Georgian healthcare market is very promising due to low per capita drugstore expenditures, rising incomes and strong projected growth for the GDP. The current size of the Georgian market is US $350 million, with a growth rate of 24%.
In Georgia, we expect to see more and more smaller, local sales and marketing companies that will perform new OTC and Rx launches within the country’s relatively lax regulatory environment. The OTC and Rx split is 40% to 60%, and the out-of-pocket sector of the Georgian healthcare market accounts for between 25% and 30% of the market.
The local manufacturer share is 14% in terms of value, and the other 86% belongs to western companies.
There are no doubts that the business environment in the pharmaceutical sector in Georgia is very positive, especially for western OTC and healthcare companies. Georgian pharmaceutical regulations are much simpler and more open than those in both the West and in Russia. What’s more, there are no strict price regulations or controls as there are in Russia, and all OTC and Rx products are free from VAT or customs taxes in Georgia.
Especially for medium-sized OTC and healthcare players, easy market access makes the Georgian market a very attractive target country.