2013-01-30 08:45:52 - New Healthcare research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research
BMI View: Although this quarter has seen a number of regulatory initiatives taken by the Lebanese Minister of Health, Ali Hassan Khalil, to improve the state of the pharmaceutical industry, we maintain that a multilateral approach is required to improve foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country and that, in the short to medium term, investment will be deterred and medical tourism revenue diminished by wider macroeconomic and political vulnerabilities. Nonetheless, BMI holds to the view that the country provides stable opportunities for multinationals to tap into the cultural prioritisation for medicines and benefit from the increasingly-urbanized population, although risks include a relatively weak regulatory framework, poor intellectual property laws and medicine pricing restrictions.
Headline Expenditure Projections
* Pharmaceuticals: LBP1,959bn (US$1.30bn)
in 2011 to LBP2,061bn (US$1.37bn) in 2012; +8.6% in local currency terms and +9.2% in US dollar terms. Forecast revised upwards from Q412 due to modifications to historical figures.
* Healthcare: LBP4,495bn (US$2.99bn) in 2011 to LBP4,750bn (US$3.15bn) in 2012; +5.7% in local currency terms and +5.6% in US dollar terms. Forecast revised upwards from Q412 due to modifications to historical figures.
* Medical Devices: LBP365.26bn (US$243mn) in 2011 to LBP402.84bn (US$267mn) in 2012; +10.3% in local currency terms and +10.2% in US dollar terms. Forecast revised downwards from Q412 due to modifications to historical figures.
Full Report Details at
- www.fastmr.com/prod/529415_lebanon_pharmaceuticals_healthcare_re ..
Risk/Reward Rating: Lebanon's position in our MEA Risk-Reward Ratings Matrix has remained constant over the last quarter at eighth place out of 30 countries and it maintains a score of 50.4 out of 100, significantly above the regional average of 44.2. Lebanon ranks favourably as a relatively highreward- low-risk prospect for multinational investment in the Middle East as the most attractive country in the Gulf Levant, behind markets in the GCC and Israel and South Africa.
Key Trends & Developments
* In November 2012, four pharmaceutical importers were reportedly involved in an operation to import more than 100 types of drugs through forged documentation, according to Lebanon's Parliamentary Health Committee chief, Atef Majdal. Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil's signature was forged in order to import the untested pharmaceuticals into the country. The health minister indicated he viewed the discovery as an accomplishment by his ministry in uncovering the ring of importers.
* In August 2012, the Health Ministry released a statement requesting importers and manufacturers to register medicines according to international guidelines, in order to improve medication trade transparency in the country. Health Minister Ali Hasan Khalil met with the Syndicate of Medicine Importers and Manufacturers to focus on ensuring transparency in the registration of new drugs, improvements of the registration process according to international guidelines and guaranteeing the availability of drugs for chronic diseases.
* In July 2012, the Minister of Health expressed his commitment to implement fully a number of measures relating to the pharmaceutical industry. These included lowering medicine prices, ensuring all drugs sold were of a high quality and performing routine pharmacy inspections. He also mentioned the launch of joint awareness campaigns on diabetes and hypertension with the head of the Order of Pharmacists, Ziad Nassour.
* Also in July 2012, the implementation of standardised drug prescriptions was delayed, pushing back the initiative to monitor unregulated prescription practices. The law was passed in December 2011, but the implementation process has undergone many stops and starts, including unawareness of the law by pharmacists, disputes within the Order of Physicians organization and printing delays.
BMI Economic View: We retain our bearish outlook on the Lebanese economy heading into 2013. A tenuous security environment, political paralysis, civil war in Syria, and higher oil prices are all undermining the country's growth outlook. We are forecasting real GDP to expand by only 1.6% in 2012, before picking up to 3.4% in 2013.
BMI Political View: Political stability will remain hard to come by in Lebanon over the coming decade. However, despite the range of challenges facing the government, we believe that major political upheaval will not occur without an external trigger, with a military conflict the most obvious possibility.
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