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Market Report, "Portugal Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report Q4 2013", Published

New Healthcare market report from Business Monitor International: "Portugal Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report Q4 2013"


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/16/2013 -- Portugal's economy continues to struggle in the face of austerity measures implemented as part of the IMF/ECB/EU's financial assistance package, rising unemployment and falling private consumption. The healthcare and pharmaceuticals market continues to suffer as a result. Price cuts, reduced investment in healthcare infrastructure and enforced prescriptions by active ingredients are just some of the measures affecting the sector, making opportunities for growth and investment few and far between. Only generic drugmakers are benefiting - but more in volume terms rather than in value - and mass-market outlets selling OTC medicines, which have posted growth consistently over the past few years. Changes include a new drug category, for non-prescription drugs that are sold in pharmacies by a pharmacist. While this simply puts Portugal in line with many other European markets, we also believe that it will pave the way for new Rx-to-OTC switches. And one other sector posting growth is exports, with Health Cluster Portugal reporting that in volume terms, pharmaceutical exports climbed by 8% in 2012 compared to 2013. Germany, France, the UK and Spain are key export markets.

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Headline Expenditure Projections

- Pharmaceuticals: EUR3.72bn (US$4.72bn) in 2012 to EUR3.40bn (US$4.53bn) in 2013; -8.5% in local currency and -4.2% in US dollar terms. Forecast lowered from Q313 because of macroeconomic factors.
- Healthcare: EUR16.74bn (US$21.26bn) in 2012 to EUR16.36bn (US$21.76bn) in 2013; -2.3% in local currency and +2.4% in US dollar terms. Forecast broadly unchanged from Q313.

Risk/Rewards Rating: In Q313, Portugal sat at the bottom of our Pharmaceutical Risk/Reward Rating (RRR) for Western Europe, with a score of 59 out of 100. Portugal posts below regional average scores for all indicators.

Key Trends & Developments

- In June 2013, Portugal's government approved the creation of a new category of drugs: those that can be sold in a pharmacy, without a prescription, under the supervision of a pharmacist. The move brings Portugal's drug framework in line with other European markets, and should facilitate the switch of drugs from prescription to non-prescription.
- Portugal's doctors have accused the government of restricting access to innovative drugs on economic grounds.
- The generic drug sector is one of the few winners emerging out of Portugal's austerity crisis. Data published by INFARMED show that in Q113, generic drugs accounted for 27.1% of all drug sales in volume terms, and 18.0% in value terms, in pharmacies.

BMI Economic View: We forecast that Portugal's economy will continue to struggle during 2013 and into 2014, with real GDP growth of -3% and -2% respectively. Unemployment remains high: around 18%: private consumption is falling; and austerity measures continue to take their toll.

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