New Report Available: Uzbekistan Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report Q4 2013

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Fri Oct 11 2013

As the most populous state in Central Asia, with a population expected to increase to 29.8mn by 2017, we expect interest in the pharmaceutical and healthcare markets to increase. However, Uzbekistan has a number of obstacles to overcome before it will present an attractive prospect to potential investors.

For one thing, the country ranks as the least attractive in BMI's ratings matrix, with high corruption, a repressive political regime and deficient intellectual property rights (IPRs) enforcement. Furthermore, the tightening up on medicine imports in December 2012, and the state's control of pharmaceutical production and procurement, means there little room for drugmakers to enter the market in our short-term view. It has also led us to downgrade out forecast for the Uzbek pharmaceutical market for the remainder of 2013, and to expect severe medicine shortages.

Headline Expenditure Projections

* Pharmaceuticals: UZS989.11bn (US$520mn) in 2012 to UZS934.08bn (US$500mn) in 2013; -5.6% in local currency terms and -3.9% in US dollar terms. Forecast broadly in line with previous quarter.
* Healthcare: UZS5,749.12bn (US$3.05bn) in 2012 to UZS7,013.02bn (US$3.78bn) in 2013; +22.0% in local currency terms and +24.1% in US dollar terms. Forecast upwardly revised from previous quarter, due to increased government investment in the sector.

Full Report Details at

Risk/Reward Ratings: Uzbekistan continues to rest at the bottom of our proprietary rating tool. The country remains the least attractive market in the Central and Eastern Europe region. Uzbekistan's scores below the regional average for all indicators in our proprietary ranking system, its total score of 34.6 coming in way below the regional average of 52.0. We see some scope for this to improve, with the government having allocated funds to improve healthcare facilities and infrastructure. However, the situation remains unpromising for pharmaceutical players in the medium term, with international drugmakers facing a ban on medicine imports.

Key Trends And Developments

* In July 2013 Central News Asia reported plans for major improvements to healthcare facilities, particularly in rural areas, of Uzbekistan. In January the government allocated more than UZS23.6bn (US $12mn) to the Finance Ministry Foundation for Reconstruction, Major Renovation and Re-equipment of Educational and Medical Institutions for 2013. The ministry claims it will complete more than 1,000 renovation projects and build hundreds of clinics.
* UNICEF and the EU expressed concern in April 2013 over the progress of the 'Improvement of Mother and Child Health Services' programme. Despite the programme now being in its second stage, reports of forced sterilisations and high infant mortality rates continue. NGO workers have said that much remains to be done in terms of education about contraception, and better healthcare training and provision.

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