Pharmaceutical sector in Vietnam

Ha Noi, Jan. 7 (VNA) -- Viet Nam will invest more than USD 1,483 million to develop its pharmaceutical sector between 2001 and 2010.

Of this, USD 1,286 million will go to the pharmaceutical industry and USD 62.4 million will be used for pharmaceutical materials.

The investment will focus on both the production of essential medicines, import replacement and export. Long-term loans and tax exemption will be given to enterprises that invest in research and new technology or produce medicines for export. It will also be used to establish a network of centres to provide phamaceutical materials and medicines.

The sector will devise a master plan to modernise its distribution system and ensure drug quality. People in poor areas will be given priority in medicine delivery.

Domestically-produced drugs that meet Good Manufacture Practice (GMP) standard will be bought from the State Budget for primary healthcare and hospitals.

The sector will strive for a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 448.3 million by 2010, or 1.9 of all industrial GDP. Consumption value is estimated to reach USD 973.3 million with average yearly per capita purchases of between USD 12-15.

Domestically-produced medicines met about 35 percent of demand in 2000 and the rate of bogus drugs in the market was reduced to 0.08 percent from 7.1 percent in 1990.

However pharmaceutical production is still dependent on imported materrials and the checking of quality has not reached the international standards due to the lack of equipment.--VNA