Vietnam sets national strategy for pharmaceutical sector

Vietnamese pharmaceutical sector has produced more than 12,000 various medicines; however, local drugs just take up half of market share and most are simple kind, not bringing much profit.

(Photo: SGGP)

A Vietnamese resident has an average spent of US$31 a year on medications and half of them are foreign-made drugs. Accordingly, the home pharmaceutical sector must work out a national development strategy with the vision to 2020.

According to the Ministry of Health’s Vietnam Administration of Drug, as of December, 2014, there are around 130 GMP-standard pharmaceutical factories including 104 producing modern drugs, 25 manufacturing herbal drugs and four making vaccine.

Domestic enterprises have made 12,000 drugs and 520 active ingredients while there are 1,000 abroad-made active ingredients and specific drugs with high value.

In addition, though there have been more Vietnamese-made drugs which are available in market but  it has just satisfied half of local demand. Moreover, to produce some drugs, most materials are imported leading to a higher price. Therefore, local enterprises just produce simple drugs with low value rather than specific ones.

Head of the Drug Administration of Vietnam Truong Quoc Cuong said that to achieve the target to help Vietnamese –made medications replace gradually their foreign counterparts, the sector should invest more to produce cheaper generic versions. Furthermore, the sector should pay more attention to herbal drugs.

As per the government, the health sector is focusing on building the national brand name which the sector must implement 62 good drugs and 30 excellent manufacturers to select the best ones, the ministry will have measures to support them in a bid to spread information of local drugs to consumers to help increase turnover.

Medical workers should use Vietnamese-made medications in their prescription, Mr. Cuong noted.

The Ministry of Health ordered all hospitals nationwide must name Vietnamese drugs into drug index.

The national strategy with the vision to 2030 points out that Vietnam strives to produce 20 materials for manufacturing drugs and local medications must account for 80 percent spending.

By Khanh Nguyen – translated by Anh Quan

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