The Estonian pharmaceutical market is estimated to have reached US$233mn in 2007, rising by 12.5% on the previous year. Key drivers of growth over the next five years will be increased healthcare spending and strong economic growth forecasts, which should push the value of the market to US$331mn by 2012.
This is according to “Estonia Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report Q1 2008”, which is now available from Research and Markets.
The Estonia Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Report provides independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on Estonia’s pharmaceuticals and healthcare industry.
Over the last decade, Estonia has increased its focus on providing public services, with a 10% annual increase in its healthcare spending. Such investment is urgently needed as poor healthcare has been seen as a weak link in Estonia’s 15-year post-Soviet economic ‘miracle’. However, the country is still struggling with persistent rates of some infectious diseases, including the highest HIV infection rate in the EU by some distance.
In the revised Business Environment Rankings for the 15 major markets of Central & Eastern Europe (CEE), Estonia is found in a respectable fifth place. However, in absolute terms, Estonia will remain a marginal market in the CEE region. The main limiting factor is the small and falling population, which is compounded by the strict reimbursement regime. On a positive note, the country will continue to invest in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), which is strongly supported by the government.
In the meantime, imports will continue to gain ground in relation to exports, which have tailed off following the recent winding down of manufacturing, as the largest local firm, Tallinn Pharmaceutical Plant – part of Latvia’s Grindeks – moved some of its operations abroad. Market expansion is severely limited by strong competition in the supply chain, characterised by a concentrated wholesale market and chain-dominated retail pharmacy landscape.