How Big and Promising is the Vietnam Pharmaceutical Market?

The drug & pharmaceutical market has grown significantly & offers incredible opportunities in Vietnam for new investors

The pharmaceutical market is a massive contributor to Vietnam’s rapid economic development. As Vietnam continues to expand, this continues to show plenty of opportunity for foreign investors.

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In the last decade, the government has increased the number of imported drugs. This changes not only basic regulations about distribution but also advertising. In recent years, the country’s pharmaceutical market has grown by 10 percent year after year. This upward momentum is a positive sign for potential suppliers. 

Pharmaceutical Demands in Vietnam

Due to this positive growth, the demands of the pharmaceutical market grow every year. Why? Because the Vietnamese population continues to care about their health. This has led to positive developments in this sector and this trend is expected to continue. 

One common trend is that foreign brands are popular in the Vietnamese market. For instance, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceutical distributes products to cities such as Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang, and Hanoi. Bayer provides products for infectious diseases, cancer treatments, and women’s health issues.

Meanwhile, a majority of Vietnamese people buy pharmaceutical products from non-public pharmacies. People tend to buy their drugs without any proof of prescription. Also, most of them rely on friends and relatives to decide what prescription they should buy.

Related: How Big & Promising is the Pharmaceutical Industry in Vietnam?

Vietnam’s Pharmaceutical Market Overview

The pharmaceutical market in Vietnam is projected to increase to $7.7 billion (USD) in 2021 and US$16.1 billion in 2026. 

Domestic firms do produce and distribute their own prescription drugs, but they often rely on international aid. As a result, some of Vietnam’s pharmaceutical spending comes from imports. For example, the government spent $2.8 billion (USD) on imported products in 2018. Meanwhile, they spent significantly less on exported products. 

The Drug Administration of Vietnam regulates all aspects of the pharmaceutical market. This means all drugs must have a verified registration number. Thus, all prescription drugs must follow the World Trade Organization’s international standards. Generally, foreign companies that distribute drug products work with local suppliers and distributors. They do this to build a joint venture.

Health Issues in Vietnam

Vietnamese people, especially those who live in cities, care about their health. Over the past few decades, the numbers have shown  decreased mortality rates among mothers. Although, for newborns and children under five the number has remained steady. 

Despite these positive trends, Vietnam continues to have health concerns. The biggest concern is non-communicable diseases. These include cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. They contribute to more than 70% of total deaths in the country. 

In addition to such diseases, unhealthy western diets have also had a negative impact. Poor food choices can lead to more health issues such as an increased risk of diabetes. 

On top of all this, air and water pollution, especially in the more populated cities, can make matters worse. 

The Importance of Market Research and Analysis 

Market research and analysis is an important aspect to build your business wherever you are. To scale your business up, first, you need to know your target market. Then, you need to create suitable products for such a market. Finally, you need local partners that can support your business in a new area.

As one of the top consulting firms in Vietnam, Cekindo has a team of professional consultants and legal practitioners that are here to help. We assist foreign investors in all aspects of incorporating their businesses in Vietnam. This includes extensive market research and analysis, plus company and product registration. 

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