The industry revenue is expected to grow 8% to VND 169 trillion ($7.2 billion) in 2023. In the post-pandemic period, the situation will be stable in most respects, but an economic downturn is likely to affect health care spending.
The first half of 2023 will be an unpredictable time for the supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and excipients. Meanwhile, about 65% of APIs used in drug production in Vietnam are from China, which has reopened their economy. However, there is still concern about shortages. In addition, the war between Russia-Ukraine is still going on, active ingredients and drugs imported from Europe are at risk of shortages. Companies that can use domestic raw materials will gain a better position (typically Traphaco Joint Stock Company).
On the other hand, the race for quality improvement is taking place at the major pharmaceutical companies. Many companies such as Hau Giang Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company (DHG), Imexpharm Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company (IMP), Traphaco Joint Stock Company (TRA), and Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company (DCL) are aiming to meet EU GMP standards for their production facilities. Products manufactured in factories meeting EU GMP standards will be considered in the group of the highest quality drugs in public hospital bidding (group 1). Local companies hope to bid for products at higher prices than before, but still lower than many imported drugs in this group.
It is estimated that only 6% of drugs in group 1 are produced domestically, the rest are mainly imported drugs. In addition, upgrading to EU GMP will help improve product quality and enhance competitiveness. Currently, there are 8 companies owning production lines that meet EU GMP standards or equivalent in Vietnam. However, with high initial investment and maintenance costs, stringent requirements and lengthy approval times, companies will have to consider pursuing this race or investing in other fields to get better profits.
The factors investors need to monitor are:
Top 5 largest pharmaceutical companies in Vietnam
As the largest pharmaceutical enterprise in Vietnam according to VietnamCredit, in 2022, DHG Pharma earned VND 4,676 billion in net revenue and VND 1,100 billion in pre-tax profit, up 17% and 27% respectively compared to 2021. The profit achieved in the past year is also the highest level since the company went into operation. The high demand for drugs, especially for antibiotics and disease prevention and immune system boosting products, was the main driving force for revenue growth. Along with that, the company has actively increased raw material reserves, well controlled costs, liabilities and cash flow. At the same time, labor productivity and investment efficiency also increased, and low inventory prices also helped improve gross profit.
Holding the second postion in Vietnam is Vietnam Pharmaceutical Corporation JSC. This is one of the leading brands in the pharmaceutical industry in Vietnam. In 2022, this enterprise recorded a revenue of more than VND 5,500 billion, higher than that of DHG Pharma.
Traphaco Joint Stock Company, Imexpharm Corporation, Binh Dinh Pharmaceutical and Medical Equipment JSC, which all recorded thousands of billion dong in revenue, are the other companies in this list.
Alice Hoang Thao – VietnamCredit