Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Serbia Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report Q1 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/07/2013 -- BMI View: While the market is small in terms of absolute numbers, relative per capita spending on medicines is expected to improve over the long term. As the country continues its economic convergence with developed Europe, drug consumption is also expected to rise. However, financial inefficiencies within the health insurance system mean that the National Health Insurance Institution (RZZO) is unable to always meet its obligations on time, leaving patients to pay for formerly reimbursed medicines or hospitals having to cover the difference.
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Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: RSD75.70bn (US$1.03bn) in 2011 to RSD81.44bn (US$0.92bn) in 2012; +7.6% in local currency terms and -11.0% in US dollar terms.
- Healthcare: RSD347.71bn (US$4.74bn) in 2011 to RSD367.32bn (US$4.14bn) in 2012; +5.6% in local currency terms and -12.6% in US dollar terms.
- Medical devices: RSD16.64bn (US$223mn) in 2011 to RSD19.98bn (US$223mn) in 2012; +20.1% in local currency terms and -0.7% in US dollar terms.
Risk/Reward Rating (RRR): In BMI's RRR matrix for Q113, Serbia scored 44.7 and ranked 17th out of 20 pharmaceutical markets surveyed in the Emerging Europe region. The Serbian market's key selling points include its advantageous geographical position, which allows easy access to the rest of Europe, a largely untapped pharmaceutical market and the low cost and abundant supply of skilled labour - a position helped by a growing network of free trade agreements. However, Serbia will continue to be a challenging market for foreign investors because of the prevalence of corruption, a large-scale black-market economy, and the poor state of the country's infrastructure and finances, in both public and private spheres.
Key Trends & Developments
- The government will introduce a central procurement policy for medical drugs in Serbia to eliminate price and structural mismatch between local pharmacies and the Republic Health Insurance Fund, according to finance and economy minister Mladjan Dinkic. The health ministry is expected to adopt measures to prevent accumulated debt in the country by the end of 2012. Dinkic asked the ministry to propose a law to convert the existing debt into public debt after negotiating with drug manufacturers. The law should allow conversion of some debt into public debt, with the remaining to be paid by the state over five years. The net debt in Serbia currently stands at RSD25bn (US$286mn), with RSD15bn (US$172mn) owed by the Republic Health Insurance Fund and RSD10bn (US$115mn) owed by local hospitals.
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