The Vietnamese pharmaceutical market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.8% to reach $6.6bn by 2020, an increase of more than $3.5bn in 2015, according to a GlobalData report.
Titled ‘CountryFocus: Healthcare, Regulatory and Reimbursement Landscape – Vietnam’, the report states that Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market will benefit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which the country signed in February this year.
Tariffs on pharmaceutical imports are expected to decline to 0% on the implementation of the TPP, along with an increase in patent limitation on drugs manufactured by foreign pharmaceutical companies for up to ten years.
Other factors expected to influence the growth of this sector include the country’s ageing population, an inclination towards imported branded drugs, and more government aid for the healthcare sector.
Vietnam’s domestic pharmaceutical companies tend to focus on manufacturing generic drugs with limited research and development (R&D) expenditure, which would make them an ideal choice as the country’s average income is less compared to the high drug prices. Foreign pharmaceutical companies are, however, able to generate higher revenues as they have patent protection and the patients have a prevailing preference for imported drugs.
Sanofi, Hau Giang Pharmaceuticals (DHG Pharmaceuticals), Imexpharm, Traphaco and Domesco are the leading pharmaceutical companies in Vietnam.
According to the GlobalData report, a new drug registration is issued by the Drug Administration of Vietnam within 180 days of application submission. The time taken is much less compared to the developed countries including the US and UK.
The report also notes that despite the short time, the application procedure is cumbersome and time-consuming as biologics and vaccines documents are required to be submitted in Vietnamese.
Approval for a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Vietnam can be obtained by providing a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification, while drug import approval requires documents such as the Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product, Certificate of Free Sale, and the GMP.