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Belarusian Pharmaceutical Companies Losing The Battle

Belarusian Pharmaceutical Companies Losing The Battle
By Ludmila Vorontsova
BDG. Delovaya Gazeta
Belarusian manufacturers of medicines cannot keep up with the growing pharmaceutical market in the country and are losing the battle to foreign players. Despite budgetary assignations, local factories don’t have enough capacity to increase exports and produce new items to substitute imports at the same time.
News agency INFOLine reported the pharmaceutical market in Belarus to have grown by 28% in 2007 if compared to 2006 and reached the mark of 383 million dollars in wholesale prices or 481 million dollars in retail prices. Insufficient production capacities cannot cope with this trend as the Belarusian Biopharmaceutical Concern (Belbiopharm) had to increase exports (12% more in 2007) to help with the country’s foreign trade balance.
As a result, domestic companies are losing the battle on their own ground. Borisov Medication Factory that contributes 53% to the national pharmaceutical production saw its sales go down by 1%, which reduced its market segment from 6.2% down to 4.8% at the end of 2007. A slowdown at the second-largest manufacturer Belmedpreparaty (35% of pharmaceutical production in Belarus) was not so significant but this factory could not keep up with the market expansion either – the market segment went down from 3.9% to 3.7% last year. Now, Borisov Medication Factory and Belmedpreparaty are respectively ranked second and fourth in pharmaceutical sales in Belarus.
At the same time, analytic company RMBC reported many foreign producers to have increased their sales. Servier/Egis sales went up by 28% (market segment went up from 3.3 to 3.5%), Gedeon Richter – by 40% (segment – from 3.1 to 3.4), Nivartis by 60% (segment from 2.4 to 3%).
Last January, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko called on the domestic pharmaceutical industry to increase the production of efficient medicines and substitute foreign imports, and also to develop new forms of medication. At the same time, the industry had to explore foreign markets, including Europe, which is estimated at 200 billion euros. Earlier on, Belbiopharm was reportedly going to increase its exports by 9% in 2008.
Battles in the Belarusian pharmaceutical market promises to be even fiercer in 2008 as foreign companies keep improving their position every year. Even now, 80% of all medical sales in the country are generated by foreign medicines. Belarusian manufactures seem to be continuously losing their own market despite governmental support.

 

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