(prepared by G Farquharson from various internet sources)
Rising presence of health issues such as gastrointestinal problems in the country is creating a huge demand for drugs.
Demographically, Vietnam has a large and young population, estimated to be the eighth largest population in the Asia Pacific region by 2016. The elderly population is rising slowly, and will remain as one of the lowest proportions in the Asia Pacific region. Rising drug consumption and government investment make Vietnam an attractive pharmaceutical market. There are around 171 pharmaceutical companies in Vietnam, out of which 9.0 % are owned by foreign investors and 4.0 % are joint ventures. About 28.0 % of them have the Global Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification. Local pharmaceutical production was valued at nearly US$920 million and met 48.0 % of the nation's needs. Imported drugs account for the remaining 52.0 %. According to Deputy Minister of Health, Cao Minh Quang, improving the domestic pharmaceutical industry would be the health sector's utmost priority in the coming years in order to satisfy 70.0 % of the nation's demand by 2015. Health ministry statistics show that the value of the nation's total medicine consumption reached almost US$1.9 billion last year. The Ministry of Health forecasts that the size of the Vietnam pharmaceutical market will exceed US$2.0 billion and annual growth will reach between 17-19 % in 2011. In 2010, about 22.0 % of the population was affected by gastrointestinal (GI) related problems in Vietnam. Such a high %age of population suffering from this condition could be due to the fact that people in Vietnam are increasingly leading a busy and stressful lifestyle. With the hectic lifestyle, they have less time for balanced meals and exercise. People use more takeaway food deliveries, and many young urban consumers eat at their desks at work. All of these habits led to more digestion related problems and gradually aggravates to more GI related issues. Alcoholism appears to be another serious cause of increase in gastrointestinal problems in Vietnam. Statistics from the Vietnam Beverage Association shows that 5.0 % of citizens and 3.0 % of mountaineers are alcoholics out of total population of 89,571,130 in 2010. According to Dr Pham Thi Thu Ho, VP of The Vietnam Association of Gastroenterology, the Gastrointestinal Department in Vietnam hospitals have been burdened with male patients having trouble with their livers or galls due to overconsumption of alcohol.
Principal, Critical System Inc.
Based in U.K., Farquharson offers consultancy services mainly in Europe, ASEAN countries and Australia. With extensive knowledge of the standards set by regulatory authorities for the pharmaceutical industry and of industry trends, he can offer focused advice on the GMP requirements of the EU, PIC/S, WHO and FDA.
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