|A Nam Duoc Medicine Company employee packs herbal medicines in the northern province of Nam Dinh. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
HA NOI (VNS) — Great effort is required by the domestic pharmaceutical companies to expand their share in the medicine market, which is currently largely dominated by imported drugs.
The Ministry of Health's Department of Pharmaceutical Management said that even though there were more varieties of locally-manufactured medicines in the market than imported medicines, the consumption of the former was lower.
Data showed that Viet Nam has more than 130 companies, which meet good manufacturing practices (GMP) and produce about 12,000 kinds of drugs, while there are just around 11,000 categories of imported medicines.
The annual average spending on medicine by Vietnamese reached US$31.18 per person, but a large percentage of that was for imported medicines, which are priced higher.
The consumption value of domestic medicines made up for 48 per cent of the total value.
Last year, Viet Nam imported more than $2 billion pharmaceutical products from 30 countries, reflecting an 8.3 per cent growth over the year before, the Viet Nam Industry and Trade Information Centre under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said.
In addition, domestic pharmaceutical production was hugely dependent on imported materials, which accounted for up to 90 per cent. Technology was also a huge problem for most domestic medicine producers.
The national strategy of developing the pharmaceutical industry was targeted at the industry producing 20 per cent of raw materials for domestic production and 80 per cent of the total medicine consumption value by 2020.
According to the Director of the Department of Pharmaceutical Management, Truong Quoc Cuong, the pharmaceutical industry should invest in producing generic drugs of a high quality, which could replace imported drugs in treatment.
Cuong said the potential of traditional medicines should be brought into full play, adding that priority should be given to developing raw material plantation areas. — VNS