Updated on 13 August 2015
While the government in Vietnam favours local manufacturing, it is also working with global pharmaceutical players
Singapore: Healthcare market in Vietnam is poised to become a significant medical hub in the Asia-Pacific region as the government carefully opens its arms to foreign assistance, informs Frost and Sullivan.
"The deployment of the universal health coverage scheme has escalated demand for healthcare services in Vietnam," said Mr Philip Tay, healthcare research analyst, Frost & Sullivan.
"The program is swinging public health expenditure towards low-cost, centralised purchases, thus shifting preference to affordable generics over branded drugs, and basic medical devices instead of high-end technology," he said.
While the government in Vietnam favours local manufacturing, it is also working with global pharmaceutical players to create a solution that will benefit both parties and push the market ahead. For instance, the government has provided tax exemption for the import of medical device components. However, regulatory bodies are still in the development phase, and hence, import and distribution practices remain grey areas. Fragmented distribution and lack of advanced infrastructure also limit market development.
Holding discussions with pharmaceutical firms through associations and representatives will help the government make informed choices, understand implications on investors, and prime the healthcare market for further growth. Analysing case studies of works and systems that have worked in other nations will aid the country in designing a stable regulatory environment with investor interests assured.
"In this protected domain, global providers must seek out partnerships and joint ventures to establish a solid footing," suggested Mr Tay. "Collaboration with distributors and even local manufacturers will grant quick access to infrastructure and know-how, offering a firm standing against the ebbs and flows of the dynamic Vietnamese healthcare market."