In Vietnam, the poor ability to develop new drugs and the few businesses with access to high standards are the main reasons for the rapid increase in pharmaceutical imports over recent years (Photo: thuonghieuvaphapluat.vn)
 
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Vietnam spent more than 570 million USD on importing pharmaceuticals in the first quarter of this year, marking a year-on-year increase of 16.7 percent, according to the latest statistics from the General Department of Customs.

Imports have come from dozens of countries and territories in Asia, North America, Europe and Oceania. In particular, many major markets in Europe are supplying pharmaceuticals to Vietnam.

By the end of February 2019, France was the largest drug exporter to Vietnam, reaching nearly 55 million USD, up 40.3 percent over the same period last year. It was followed by Germany, India, the US, the Republic of Korea, the UK and Belgium with 44.5 million USD, 37 million USD, 34.2 million USD, 22.7 million USD, 18 million USD and 14 million USD, respectively.

By the end of 2018, the country's pharmaceutical imports amounted to nearly 2.8 billion USD, slightly lower than the import spending of 2017.

According to statistics from IBM Market Research, Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market size in 2018 reached nearly 5.3 billion USD. The market size is expected to reach 7.7 billion USD by 2021 and 16.1 billion USD by 2026, with a growth rate of up to 11 percent.

The poor ability to develop new drugs and the few businesses with access to high standards are the main reasons for the rapid increase in pharmaceutical imports over recent years.

Nearly 55 percent of domestic pharmaceutical needs must be met by imported sources, including a large number of patented drugs, which are expensive because they are unable to be produced domestically.

The drug spending per capita in Vietnam in 2017 was about 56 USD. This figure is expected to increase to 85 USD in 2020 and 163 USD in 2025.-VNS/VNA