MED­I­CAL MAR­KET

Executive Magazine - - Cover Story -

Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal sales, ac­cord­ing to pro­jec­tions from mar­ket re­search firm Busi­ness Mon­i­tor In­ter­na­tional (BMI), amounted to $1.5 bil­lion in 2014, a pro­jected in­crease of 8.4 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous year. Im­ports made up 95 per­cent of those sales. Go­ing into fur­ther de­tail, BMI es­ti­mates nearly 74 per­cent of to­tal sales in 2014 ($1.1 bil­lion) were for pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion and that patented drugs ac­counted for al­most 46.2 per­cent ($700 mil­lion) of to­tal spend­ing on phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and 26.6 per­cent ($400 mil­lion) spent on gener­ics with the re­main­ing sales at­trib­uted to over the counter medicines. Put an­other way, their pro­jec­tions high­light patented drugs as 46 per­cent of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal ex­pen­di­ture in 2014. Mean­while, gener­ics re­main low as a per­cent­age of pre­scribed med­i­ca­tions. Walid Am­mar, direc­tor gen­eral of the min­istry of public health, says the fig­ure lies some­where be­tween 15 and 20 per­cent by vol­ume. To de­ter­mine the nom­i­nal value of Am­mar’s per­cent­ages, one must rely upon BMI pro­jec­tions due to the un­avail­abil­ity of gov­ern­ment data and the un­will­ing­ness by both the Or­der of Physi­cians and the Or­der of Phar­ma­cists to share th­ese num­bers.

Lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers’ con­tri­bu­tion to phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal sales, ac­cord­ing to BMI, ac­counted for about 5 per­cent of to­tal phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal sales in 2014. Much of the pro­duc­tion by lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers is ex­ported mainly to coun­tries in the Arab re­gion, with Saudi Ara­bia a lead­ing con­sumer of Le­banese medicine. The gov­ern­ment sup­ports Le­banon’s phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers by giv­ing tax in­cen­tives on ex­ports. In 2014, Le­banon ex­ported 936 tons of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts worth $38 mil­lion.

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