Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/30/2014 -- The projected growth of Iraq's pharmaceutical market in 2014 and 2015 is linked to an oildriven economic expansion, which is dependent on the government's ability to represent and appease the country's factions. Given the government's expansionary fiscal policy, spending on education, health and public services will be elevated over the coming quarters. In particular, Baghdad will seek to modernise healthcare provision, in a view to improve support to its rule. Nevertheless, there are numerous factors hampering market growth. Corruption aside, counterfeit, out-dated and substandard drugs are present in the market, particularly the Kurdistan region. This is a major concern as patients purchase drugs - often at high prices - believing that they are genuine, when a lack of trained healthcare personal, absence of government quality checks and controls, and the powerful influence of illegal factories means that this is not the case.
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Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: IQD1,573bn (US$1.35bn) in 2013 to IQD1,778bn (US$1.53bn) in 2014; +13.0% in local currency and +13.2% in US dollar terms. Forecast slightly raised from Q114 on account of macroeconomic trends.
- Healthcare: IQD16,075bn (US$13.80bn) in 2013 to IQD19,135bn (US$16.45bn) in 2014; +19.0% in local currency and +19.2% in US dollar terms. Forecast also raised from Q114 because of macroeconomic conditions.
Iraq remains in the bottom half of our Middle East and Africa regional pharmaceutical Risk/Reward Ratings (RRR) score for Q214. It fares better in terms of Rewards than Risks. For Q214 Iraq scores 40.0 out of 100, making it the 16th most attractive pharmaceutical market in the Middle East and African region. While Iraq's score stayed the same the country fell by one position from Q114.
Key Trends And Developments
In February 2014, Abdul Hussein Abtan, the member of parliament for Iraq's Citizen Bloc, demanded the Council of Ministers (COM) to draft a medical insurance law and send it to parliament for approval, reports Zawya. Abtan stated that the law aims to provide medical insurance to all Iraqi citizens. It is expected to have a hugely positive impact on the lives of all citizens, he added.
BMI Economic View: We project real GDP growth in Iraq to expand by 10.9% and 10.8% in real terms in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Despite increasing political instability, elevated fiscal spending and accelerating oil exports will ensure that the economy remains the fastest growing in the MENA region in 2014. However, ongoing disputes between Baghdad and Erbil will cause Iraq's 2014 budget to be delayed, potentially until after parliamentary elections set to take place on April 30. The development of investment projects will be slowed down, boding poorly for the country's medium-term macroeconomic outlook.
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