New Report Available: Sri Lanka Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report Q4 2013

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Thu Oct 24 2013

While Sri Lanka's negative pharmaceutical trade balance is expected to widen over the next five years, we are encouraged by the government's focus on increasing local production of medicines, both on a national level and by inviting foreign investment. The vast majority of imported medicines come from neighbouring India. However, a number of Indian companies have in recent months been found to be in breach of regulations and subsequently denied importing rights, which will affect the level of imports.

Headline Expenditure Projections

* Pharmaceuticals: LKR59.86bn (US$469mn) in 2012 to LKR67.77bn (US$524mn) in 2013; +13.2% in local currency terms and +11.8% in US dollar terms.
* Healthcare: LKR252.10bn (US$1.98bn) in 2012 to LKR281.89bn (US$2.18bn) in 2013; +11.8% in local currency terms and 10.4% in US dollar terms.

Full Report Details at

Risk/Reward Rating

According to our Q413 regional matrix, with a score of 39 out of 100.0 Sri Lanka is ranked 17th out of the 18 markets surveyed - above Cambodia and below Bangladesh. Sri Lanka's rewards and risks profiles are relatively evenly balanced, Low per capita expenditure on drugs and the modest overall market size are two of the key factors contributing to its low ranking.

Key Trends And Developments

In September 2013, the World Bank signed a loan agreement to provide a US$200mn loan to the Sri Lankan health sector, according to country's finance and planning ministry. The loan will fund measures to fight malnutrition; the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases; the promotion of maternal and child health; and to improve country's overall healthcare system. The World Bank finance will aid the Sri Lankan government's total budgetary requirement for the ongoing five-year health programme valued at US $5,170mn.

In October 2013, four Indian companies were banned from supplying medicines to Sri Lanka - after being faulted for supplying low-quality medicines to the country for a period of four years. BMI Political View: The strategic space for Sino-Lanka ties to continue strengthening should remain wide, if not become even wider, due to the ongoing friction between Sri Lanka and India. Stronger ties with China could greatly enhance the already extensive positive economic spillovers this relationship has bestowed from the island's perspective. In this article, we briefly flesh out the recent developments in this key economic partnership.

BMI Economic View: In line with our expectations for Sri Lanka to register renewed weakness through H113, the GDP figures for Q113 showed real growth softening to 6.0% year-on-year (y-o-y) from 6.3% in Q412. While the bottoming out in growth of the key services sector bodes well for our expectation for a sustained recovery from H213 onwards, with our full-year growth forecast at 6.4%, we believe that such an upturn is unlikely to be a forceful one.

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