16:23 30.03.2021

Ukrainian pharma market expands by 13% in 2020 – experts

5 min read

KYIV. March 30 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The market for medicinal products of Ukrainian pharmaceutical manufacturers in 2020 expanded by 13% compared to 2019 and amounted to UAH 41 billion, President of the Association Manufacturers of Medications of Ukraine (AMMU) Petro Bahriy said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday.

"In 2020, the market share of domestic manufacturers has grown. The entire market of Ukrainian medicines was UAH 41 billion. It grew by almost 13% compared to the previous year. Exports also grew by 7%," he said.

According to Bahriy, in 2020, the consumption of cold-relief medicines, medicines for digestive disorders and drugs that are used in the hospital segment decreased due to a decline in planned operations. At the same time, the COVID-19 group of drugs expanded.

In turn, Director General of the SMD analytical company Iryna Horlova said that as of the end of 2020, the entire volume of the pharmaceuticals market amounted to $2.2 billion in purchase prices excluding VAT.

According to the expert, 2020 brought more growth in monetary terms than the total cumulative growth over the previous five years: on average, the market for the previous five years showed a rise of 8%, this year a rise of 13% precisely due to the active participation of the state. At the same time, there is a significant decline in prices.

"The state had the largest share of purchases (28%). The state-funded market shows an increase of 92%, with almost $600 million. Among state-funded segments, the most successful and interesting is the work of the procurement agency Medical Procurement of Ukraine, which at the end of the year had 8% of the share of procurements and partially supplies of all medicines. The Ministry of Health held tenders for a total of $330 million, of which $170 million was the procurement of medicines," she said, adding that the volume of procurement was also increased by medical institutions.

Horlova said that the retail segment has practically stagnated.

In addition, in 2020 significantly fewer new products entered the market, while 93% of them entered the state-funded segment "because the companies responded to the request," the expert said.

She predicts that under an optimistic scenario in 2021 there will be growth, in particular in the budget-funded segment, but not so active, and retail will still be close to zero.

"In the next five years, most likely the Rx segment will occupy a fairly large share (77-79%). The share of the local manufacturers will grow to 36-38%. Of course, we cannot rule out a pessimistic scenario associated with a further recession and lockdown," Horlova said.

At the same time, according to Manager of the Health Care Committee of the European Business Association (EBA) Dmytro Lurye, such an increase in the state-funded share is not enough.

"I want to note the growth of the state's share. But this is still far from the indicators in the EU countries, in the reference countries, because the state's share of procurement or reimbursement is 70-75%," he said.

Lurye added that international manufacturers are urging the state to create a strategy and further develop the reimbursement program. When creating a strategy, it is necessary to identify priority areas for the further expansion of the program and, in general, an understanding of how it will develop.

At the same time, Deputy President of the Indian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (IPMA), President of Euro Lifecare Private Limited Sanjeev Bhagat said that the government needs to stabilize the market.

"In 2020, government procurement grew significantly. In 2021, the state should invest in this market at the same pace to stabilize it," he said.

In turn, Strategic Development Manager (Healthcare and Official Service Providers) of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine Natalia Kravchenko noted the growth of electronic trade in medicines.

"We see some shifts in the regulation of this area. Development prospects include the importance of improving the regulatory system (GMP certification), simplifying the registration of medicines, which can positively impact the entry of international manufacturers into the market, and expanding the list of INNs that are reimbursed by the state," she said.

The experts called for mutual recognition with the EU of the results of inspections of good manufacturing practice (GMP) in the production of pharmaceuticals. In addition, they emphasized the need to bring the production of vaccines, in particular against COVID-19, in Ukraine, as well as other drugs.

"Ukrainian pharma deals with this issue, and we are convinced that the presence of a domestic manufacturer is a matter of national security, including the production of vaccines. The easiest way is to transfer technologies from well-known companies and bring production into Ukraine. Farmak, Lekhim and other companies are in talks, and I hope there will be results by the end of the year. Negotiations are underway on other product groups," Bahriy said.

Bhagat, for his part, added that Ukraine needs to cooperate on this issue with global manufacturers, in particular Indian ones.