Mon, 29 May 2023

Vietnam aims to bolster local medicine production

21 Mar 2023, 21:18 GMT+10

HANOI, March 21 (Xinhua) -- As Vietnam's pharmaceutical market is expected to swell to 16.1 billion U.S. dollars in the next three years, the government has aimed for domestic medicine production of up to 80 percent by 2030, Vietnam News reported on Tuesday.

In a strategy aimed at cutting reliance on imports and boosting local pharmaceutical industry, the Vietnamese government will prioritize the production of more advanced technology products, urging domestic companies to focus on research and development.

The Ministry of Health estimated the market at 6.9 billion dollars in 2021, while BMI Research forecast the market to reach 16.1 billion dollars in 2026 with a compound annual growth rate of 11 percent.

However, domestic companies still have to face tough competition from foreign investors, said Nguyen Dieu Ha, general secretary and office chief of the Vietnam Pharmaceutical Companies Association.

Ha pointed out that locally-manufactured drugs accounted for 46 percent of resident spending on medicine during 2015-2021, significantly up from 17 percent in the 2001-2011 period, but well below the world average.

Poor research and development investments due to a lack of skilled personnel, technical knowledge and adequate infrastructure have caused the local market to depend on drug importing, said Le Van Truyen, former deputy health minister.

With an ageing population and urbanized lifestyles that give rise to hypertension, obesity and other chronic diseases, Vietnam's pharmaceutical market is poised to grow larger, said industry experts.

Each Vietnamese citizen spends an average of 73 dollars on medicine in 2021, up from just 6.7 dollars in 2002, Ha said, adding that the resident spending on drugs is expected to grow at a faster pace, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic when medicine accessibility became a huge challenge for the healthcare system.

This current production has turned the Vietnamese government's attention to encouraging the investment in pharmaceutical production to produce at least 75 percent of the total drugs in the local market by 2025 and 80 percent by 2030, according to the country's long-term development plan.

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