Updated on 29 April 2014
Also, Vietnam's intellectual property rights protection is weak, and the lack of regulatory transparency and high penetration of counterfeit drugs into the market has contributed to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)'s request to keep Vietnam on the US Trade Representative (USTR)'s Special 301 Report Watch List for 2014.
"Vietnam's population reached 90 million by the end of 2013, making it the third most populous country in Southeast Asia and a sizable market for foreign drug manufacturers to consider for investment. An estimated market growth rate of 20 percent through 2017 should signal Vietnam's importance in any company's strategic planning when exploring opportunities in developing markets," opined Mr Jonathan Chen, Decision Resources analyst.
But he also notes that signing off on the TPP agreement would require Vietnam to concede an additional period of data exclusivity on top of a 20-year patent term.
"This data exclusivity period, which denies drug regulators the use of clinical trial data from the originator to approve generic alternatives until the period expires, typically lasts at least five years, and may not begin until closer to the end of the 20 year patent term. This effectively delays generic competition and keeps drug prices high, outcomes that work against the interests of the country," he further added.