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Vietnam by M M with CC

Viet­nam is one of the most promis­ing phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal mar­kets in Asia. Cur­rently worth almost US $3 billion, the Vietnamese healthcare market is esti­mated to see increases of as much as 17% per year in the near future. Ris­ing drug con­sump­tion and gov­ern­ment invest­ment contribute to the country’s attrac­tive OTC and Pharma mar­ket.

In 2012, there were approx­i­mately 170 phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies and count­less OTC, Med­ical Device and food sup­ple­ment com­pa­nies in Viet­nam. Nearly 10% of these were owned by for­eign investors, with an addi­tional 4% oper­at­ing under joint ven­ture agree­ments. Local phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal pro­duc­tion was esti­mated at nearly US $920 million and was able to meet 48% of the nation’s med­ical needs. Imported drugs accounted for the remain­ing 52%.

In terms of mar­ket share, the largest drug com­pa­nies include Glax­o­SmithK­line, Bris­tol-Myers Squibb and Novar­tis. Lead­ing Viet­namese com­pa­nies include Savipharm and Imex­pharm. The biggest Health­care expen­di­ture in Vietnam is in the out-of-pocket seg­ment, with national health insur­ance only cov­er­ing a small sec­tion of the pop­u­la­tion and pri­vate expen­di­ture accounting for around 70% of spending. In terms of phar­macy chains, there is one ‘local giant’, Phar­ma­c­ity Jsc, which accounts for almost half of the share, the rest belong­ing to small, privately owned drugstores. Sta­tis­tics show that in terms of local man­u­fac­tur­ing, there is an absence of nec­es­sary GMP facil­i­ties. Many prod­ucts must be imported from abroad in order to sup­ple­ment the market’s needs. The demand for essen­tial imported med­ical drugs is much smaller, creating a big mar­ket space for for­eign OTC and Rx com­pa­nies to suc­cess­fully mar­ket their prod­ucts in Viet­nam.

The Drug Admin­is­tra­tion of Viet­nam is the country’s phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­uct reg­u­la­tor, and the Depart­ment of Med­ical Equip­ment and Health Works is its Med­ical Device reg­u­la­tor. All phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals in Viet­nam require both prod­uct approval and a sep­a­rate import per­mit from the DAV. Only selected Med­ical Devices require approval for mar­ket­ing. The future out­look of Vietnam’s phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal indus­try is quite opti­mistic, as com­pa­nies in the coun­try are invest­ing huge amounts of money in Health­care. As the country’s population continues to grow, development of the hos­pi­tal and healthcare sys­tem has become a neces­sity.


As a fast-growing econ­omy in Asia, Viet­nam presents a tremen­dous oppor­tu­nity for for­eign health­care ­firms to estab­lish them­selves in a promis­ing Emerg­ing Mar­ket.


CPC Press Releases on Vietnam:

The great potential of the Vietnamese market