Pakistan Pharmaceutical Industry an Overview

By Khan, Aser Waseem | Economic Review, June 2011 | Go to article overview
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Pakistan Pharmaceutical Industry an Overview


Khan, Aser Waseem, Economic Review


Like many others, Pakistan Pharmaceutical Industry is left unfocused by the government, in spite of its immense contribution towards national economic growth through unparallel fast growing business activities. Millions are devotedly engaged in producing quality drugs to meet the growing national need for variety of ailments by providing latest most remedies including life saving drugs even those which are being used in the most developed parts of the world. In the same context, beside Multinationals, efforts of the Local Pharmaceutical Companies should greatly be applauded. Without compromising the quality rather following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards, they have made available latest research medicines at affordable prices to the Pakistani nation, competitive with prices of Asia Pacific countries and in most of the cases economical than many neighboring countries. Presently Pakistan is fully capable and equipped to locally manufacture all sorts of globally used hi-tech drugs in variety of formulations ranging from Paracetamol to high Grade Biotech Oncology Pharmaceuticals. These significant achievements and expertise are not confined within our own boundaries rather these have been taken across the boarders to explore new business avenues in international drug markets for better financial prospects and to substantially support the weakening economy of Pakistan. Presently number of native pharmaceuticals are in export markets of medicine and successfully competing with many multinational companies and market leaders in developed countries.

Over the past two decades Pakistan Pharma Industry has grown considerable, according to internationally recognized pharmaceutical product data provider - IMS, it has enlarged to 146 Billion PKR and thousand of families are feeding on this plant. Value wise annual double digit growth indicates highly promising future. Today Pakistan has about 400 pharmaceutical manufacturing units including those operated by 30 multinationals present in the country. The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Industry meets around 70% of the country's demand of Finished Medicine. The domestic Pharma Market, in term of market share is almost evenly divided between the Nationals and the Multinationals.

Economically, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) projects that Pakistan will be the fourth smallest economy in the Asia Pacific region and in per capita terms, Pakistan will rank the second lowest in the Asia Pacific region by 2016. Real GDP growth is projected to increase by 4.7% in 2016. Demographically, the EIU projects that Pakistan will have the fourth largest population in the Asia Pacific region by 2016. The elderly population represents a very small proportion of the population; it will be the second lowest rate in the Asia Pacific region by 2016.

Pharmaceutical Business Intelligence Company "Espicom" projects the market to grow at a fairly high single-digit CAGR in the forecast period. By 2016, it will be the 11th largest pharmaceutical market in the Asia Pacific region.

Pharmaceutical sales in Pakistan are expected to grow with an average of 9.5% a year to 2015, by which time the market will be worth $2.41 billion, say new forecasts.

Pakistan's drug market is "moderately large" by Asian standards and bigger than more dynamic markets such as Vietnam, but its annual per capita spending on medicines totals just $10, which is far below the regional average, says the study, published by Business Monitor International (BMI). Moreover, market access in the country is challenging and operational risks are high.

BM1 adds that, with a stable political and security situation, there is potential for the pharmaceutical market to expand significantly, reaching a value of $4.

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