The Philippine economy, as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP), grew by 7% in the first three quarters of 2016, among the fastest in Asia and globally. This was due to an investment surge and steady domestic demand, which saw the country achieve in nine months the government’s 6%-7% target for the entire year. Inflation peaked at 2.6% in December, its fastest rate in 2016.

The rise in December indicates that full-year inflation settled at 1.8%, below the government’s target range of 2%-4% but higher than the 1.4% of 2015. However, the Philippine peso depreciated more sharply against the US dollar and was more volatile than most Asian currencies in 2016. It closed at P49.72:US$1 at year end, about a 6% depreciation from the end of 2015. The pharmaceutical market, valued at P160 billion (US$3.2 billion) as of MAT September 2016, grew by 7%, which was 1% lower than the previous quarter. The drugstore segment, which holds 87% of the total market, expanded by 6%.

Meanwhile, the hospital segment slowed from 18% in Q1 and 13% in Q2 to 9% in Q3. Ethical products grew 7% while proprietary contributed 6%. Branded originators posted 5% growth. Unbranded non-originators went from 15% in Q1 and 11% in Q2 down to 2% in Q3. Local companies outgrew multinationals, achieving 9% versus 6% growth, but this marked a slowdown from the 13% increase in Q2. Top growth therapeutic categories were anti- diabetes (+15%), lipid regulators (+11%), renin-angiotensins (+8%) and vitamins (+7%).

Major drugstore chains opened a total of 176 branches in 2016. Watsons led such expansion with 67 openings, followed by Mercury and South Star at 52 and 48 respectively. A fast-growing hospital out-patient pharmacy, MedExpress, rapidly expanded its footprint to 32 branches from 23 stores in 2016 through increased collaborations and partnerships with leading private hospitals. Government healthcare programs also increased. In 2016, there was significant growth in the Department of Health’s procurement of different vaccines and anti-tuberculosis medicines. It is anticipated that more purchases in these categories as well as drugs for women’s health will take place in 2017.

Zuellig Pharma Philippines

Diabetes, oncology and specialty care will be the key focus areas for Patient Solutions as these demand end-to-end patient-centered programs that aim to improve access, affordability and adherence to treatment. Strengthening partnerships with retail trade channels by offering additional type of vaccines, aside from flu, to end-consumers and offering corporate wellness and industrial accounts will further scale up the Mass Vaccination program.



Views from the region - PH - Q1 2017

Views from the region - PH - Q3 2016

Views from the region - PH - Q2 2016