Vietnam as a medical hub


In 2017, Vietnam’s health care expenditure was estimated to be 16.1 billion USD, representing 7.5 percent of its GDP, according to a report by Business Monitor International. 


This was partly due to the increasing demand for quality health care as in incomes rise across Vietnam. 


Another factor contributing to the increase in healthcare expenditure is the growing population of elderly over 60 years old. The number is set to rise further and will contribute to greater healthcare spending in Vietnam over the next 5-10 years.

Strong market optimism

As Vietnam moves towards being a development epicentre and a medical hub, major multinationals are partnering with local companies to produce medical drugs locally in order to address knowledge gaps and to transfer skills. Within hospitals, healthcare professionals have been known to have a good reputation among emerging markets and Vietnamese specialist doctors are available in key cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. All of these suggest that the local talent pool is ready to provide for an international market.

As reported in Pharma Asia, efforts from the Vietnamese government who launched its 5-year health sector plan in 2011 included an industry development plan to encourage pharmaceutical production in Vietnam, regulate prices and ensure manufacturing facilities are GMP certified by 2015.

Now, at the tail end of its implementation, Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market has seen notable growth with more foreign investment. More multinationals are expected to set up production plants in the north of Vietnam and establish working partnerships with local manufacturers to decrease product prices and remain competitive. In addition, a new tender policy released by the government has created more growth in the over-the-counter (OTC) drugs area.

Boosting credibility for a world class status 

Many multinationals in Vietnam aim to show potential consumers that their products have tested well. Hence, there is an emphasis on strong research and development before products are launched to ensure that safety measures have been met. The country has also reviewed its local medical services and opened its doors to more global pharmaceutical companies to enter the Vietnamese market for greater diversity.

Hence compliance has risen as one of the biggest priorities to ensure that firms abide by the strict international regulations and appropriate conduct. Firms operating in Vietnam all aim to ensure that commercialisation of products have gone through the proper ethical and legal channels.

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