The current Report uncovers the 2019 business trends of the pharmaceutical market of the Republic of Belarus, overviews its healthcare system, portrays its epidemiology and demographics. It also depicts pharma regulation features in Belarus including a step-by-step process of the marketing authorization for pharmaceutical products. It provides insight into the country’s socio-political development since independence, describes recent economic trends, and provides the pharmaceutical market forecast for the next three years (2020-2022).
The Report is intended for industry executives, decision-makers, sales & marketing, and market access managers and other stakeholders. "Belarus Pharmaceutical Country Report 2019" will be useful for top-managers, business owners, consultants and other stakeholders of the Life Sciences industry, who are analyzing, planning to enter or invest in the Belarusian pharma and/or healthcare market.
The Report covers the 2013-2019 full-year data for the pharmaceutical market and provides a forecast for the period of 2020-2022.
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In 2019, the Republic of Belarus had made significant progress in normalizing relations with the West. Many of the official visits were breakthroughs. Such as the visit of Minsk by Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurtz and the return visit of Alexander Lukashenko to Vienna, as well as the arrival in Belarus of the US National Security Advisor John Bolton. In September, the USA and Belarus announced they would exchange ambassadors after an 11-year freeze.
On 17 November 2019, parliamentary elections were held in Belarus. Unlike in the previous elections in 2016, the opposition failed to win a single seat. International observers stated the elections did not meet important international democratic standards and were characterized by general negligence.
At the end of the year, Alexander Lukashenko held an important meeting with the president of Russia to discuss plans to advance the integration pact between Russia and Belarus. Some experts stated that the leaders were planning to form an economic confederacy of two countries by 2022 and the plans were to be announced on December 8. However, the pair didn’t reach the much-trailed deal, leaving without even delivering a customary joint press conference.
In 9M 2019, economic growth in Belarus slowed down considerably to 1.0% YoY from 3.7% in 9M 2018. Declining exports put a drag on growth, with merchandise exports down by 3.1% YoY, in sharp contrast to the 18.3% increase during the same period of 2018. Disruptions in the supply of oil from Russia to Belarus refineries in the second quarter of 2019 caused stagnation in the manufacturing sector and negatively affected the volume of exports.
Domestic consumption has been the only driver of economic growth, on the back of a continued rise in real wages of 7.6% in 9M 2019, well above the 1.5% growth in labor productivity. The IT sector generated almost half of the GDP growth in 2019. In recent years IT has been developing dynamically here, mainly because the government is taking steps to facilitate it. However, its share in GDP is about 6% only.
Dashboard. Belarus' Real GDP and GDP growth rates + Belarusian Ruble exchange rates (avg)(Sources: IMF, National Bank of the Republic of Belarus)
Experts and international institutions predict further stagnation of Belarusian economy if the deal with Russia on lifting the tax maneuver, which replaces oil export duties with a mineral extraction tax, is not reached and if the government fails to improve the business environment and to attract investors through privatization and commercialization of state-owned enterprises.
The pharmaceutical market of Belarus consists of two sales segments:
Dashboard. Shares of Sales by Segments in the Total Pharma Market, VALUES and VOLUMES Source: UPharma Consulting, IQVIA)
There is no reimbursement program in Belarus. Consequently, all retail purchases of pharmaceuticals are covered out of pocket. In 2019, the retail segment of the market amounted to 74% in values and 83% in volumes of the total market.
The hospital segment has been gradually increasing its share over the retail segment. In 2019, its market share amounted to 26% in values as compared to 23% in 2013. It also increased in volumes from 13% in 2013 to 17% in 2019.
Thirty-eight manufacturers represent the pharmaceutical industry of Belarus, eight of them are state-owned, the state partially owns six of them. Sixteen producers in Belarus obtained the GMP certificates. In 2018, the state companies produced 70% of all Belarusian drugs in values.
RUE Belmedpreparaty is the most significant local producer and the biggest company on the Belarus market, which manufactures, distributes, and markets about 310 Gx and 50 original pharmaceutical products. Its production is focused on oncology, cardiology, nervous and musculoskeletal system, etc.
Other major local manufacturers are JSC Borimed, JLLC Lekpharm, JV LTD Pharmland, JLLC Nativita, MRUE Minskintercaps, and JSC Nesvizh Plant. In recent years, in virtue of the Gov’s import substitution policy, local companies have managed to improve their positions on the market notably. Among Top-10 companies by pharma sales in 2019, 6 were Belarusian companies.
Dashboard. Weighted average cost of a pack (WACP) on the pharmaceutical market by segments (Source: UPharma Consulting; IQVIA)
The weighted average cost of a pack (WACP) on the total market amounted to USD 2.75 in 2019, growing by 7.4% YoY. On average, products of the hospital segment were 1.7 times more expensive than retail products.
The WACP on the hospital market amounted to USD 4.16, growing by 4.5% YoY. In the retail market it grew by 8% YoY to USD 2.45. Like other industries, the pharmaceutical one is highly regulated by the government, especially regarding price regulation.