The economy improved in Q2 2015, with GDP growth of 5.6% compared with (a revised) 5% in Q1 2015. Such growth was due to an increase in private construction, which grew 10.4% in Q1 2015, with infrastructure spending in catch-up mode in Q2 2015. Service sector performance, including education, healthcare, hotels, restaurants and business services, also improved.

In politics, President Benigno Aquino approved the proposed P3.002 trillion (US$66.6 billion) National Budget for 2016. The Budget is 15% higher than in 2015 and accounts for nearly one-fifth of the country’s GDP. About 37%, or P1.1 trillion (US$23.4 billion), will be allotted to “social services”, covering education, healthcare, housing and social welfare. Some P830 billion (US$17.6 billion) has been set aside for the “economic services” category. The total pharmaceutical market, as estimated by IMS, was valued at P144 billion (US$3.1 billion). As of Q2 2015, MAT grew 6% from +3.2% in Q1 2015. The ethical market, valued at P106 billion (US$2.3 billion), accounted for 73% and grew by +7% while the proprietary market posted +3.4% growth. All therapeutic classes registered positive growth, except for calcium antagonists. Local companies’ growth doubled at 10% MAT Q2 2015 compared with 5% MAT Q1 2015. Multinationals grew to 3% MAT Q2 2015 against 2% in the previous quarter.

The six largest chain accounts (Mercury, Rose, Watsons, South Star, St. Joseph and Negros Grace) continued to expand, with a combined store opening of 122 branches. Local conglomerates are also increasingly investing in healthcare. Ayala Corporation has recently bought stakes in Generika, a fast-growing drugstore chain. In addition, Ayala launched the first online doctor service, MDKonsulta, through a joint venture between its telecommunications company and an international healthcare company. This service provides 24x7 doctor consultations online for a minimal fee.

Metro Pacific Investment Corp., a hospital chain group, recently added Manila Doctors Hospital, a 300-bed hospital, bringing its total to 10 hospitals.

Zuellig Pharma Philippines

The Value Services and Innovation Group continued to provide wider market access for clients’ products to customers and patients. Expansion of the Drugstore Merchandising Program is on-going, covering major chain drugstores nationwide and driving greater products enrolment. Patient Solutions saw the launch of new partnerships with skincare and dermatology companies to provide support services for patients, enrolled by physicians, to help them manage their condition better. The Mass Vaccination Program continued to bring more affordable physician-led vaccinations to corporate institutions and communities.