Fast Market Research recommends "South Korea Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report Q4 2013" from Business Monitor International, now available
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/18/2013 -- While we continue to forecast steady expansion in terms of South Korea's pharmaceutical market values, we note that operating conditions for innovative drugmakers will remain challenging. Indeed, in its 2013 submission to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the US trade association - Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) recommended that South Korea be added to its 'watch list' of countries in 2013. PhRMA's main areas of concern include the lack of effective patent enforcement, vague data protection regulations and the lack of reward for innovation in government pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement policies. We also maintain that the pharmaceutical industry is in a state of uncertainty due to incessant price cuts, although the new administration has created short-term stability for pharmaceutical firms as it has not actioned a fresh round of mass price reduction.
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Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: KRW17,534bn (US$15.57bn) in 2012 to KRW18,687bn (US$16.25bn) in 2013; +6.6% in local currency terms and +4.4% in US dollar terms. Local currency forecast broadly unchanged in relation to the previous quarter's projection.
- Healthcare: KRW96,009bn (US$85.25bn) in 2012 to KRW103,207bn (US$89.75bn) in 2013; +7.5% in local currency terms and +5.3% in US dollar terms. Local currency forecast lowered in relation to the previous quarter's projection, on account of macroeconomic factors.
Risk/Reward Ratings: In our Q413 regional ranking tool, South Korea remains placed second out of the 18 countries surveyed in the Asia Pacific region. Its Rewards variable - in terms of both the Country and Industry components - is the best in the region. The country also benefits from a largely transparent operating environment, although some issues remain regarding illegal rebates paid by pharmaceutical firms to healthcare professionals in a bid to boost sales of their products.
Key Trends & Developments
- Novartis Korea recently ended discounts for Glivec (imatinib) in light of the availability of generic drugs in South Korea. The decision to discontinue the Glivec discount programme was made in anticipation of more than 20 pharmaceutical companies planning to introduce generic versions of the drug in June 2013, the official added. The official also mentioned that this decision was driven by a reduction in price due to generic availability.
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