Chilean pharmaceutical market expected to increase at CAGR of 11.3% over next five years

Pharma landscape is small but highly competitive, finds new report from Decision Resources Group

By the end of 2014, the Chilean pharmaceutical market is expected to be worth US$2bn and will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 11.3% over the next five years (to 2018), according to a new report from the Decision Resources Group. This growth comes as Chile experienced GDP growth of 4.8% in 2013, with 4.9% expected over the next three to five years.

Chile's pharmaceutical landscape is small but highly competitive. The pharmaceutical market is dominated by prescription drugs, with a smaller share of the market for nonprescription, over-the-counter medicines, the report, Chile Market Access Tracker, finds.

Other factors having an influence on growth include the setting up, in September 2013, of a new national medicines agency in Chile. The Agencia Nacional de Medicamentos (ANAMED) replaced the Institute of Public Health (ISP), and became responsible for the marketing approval and registration of drugs in the country.

But in Chile there is still no compulsory requirement for either health technology assessment (HTA) or a pharmacoeconomic evaluation, the report says. The Evaluacion de Tecnologias Sanitarias (ETESA; Health Technology Assessment Unit) is a small HTA body within the Health Ministry's Quality and Patient Safety Department, but its role is still developing, hence payers in the country tend to act independently.

In Chile there is still no compulsory requirement for either health technology assessment (HTA) or a pharmacoeconomic evaluation

The market is being hindered by insufficient fulfilment by the Chilean government of its Intellectual Property agreements and the absence of effective regulatory data protection and patent enforcement, the report says. Chile also remains on the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America's (PhRMA) watch-list for 2014 due to its shortcomings in the implementation of free-trade agreement (FTA) obligations and delays in granting pharmaceutical patents.

Nevertheless, healthcare remains a significant government priority for President Michelle Bachelet. A variety of reforms were initially enacted by former President Pinera, such as the BONO AUGE programme, that have sought to increase the access and affordability of the healthcare system.

'While Chile is increasingly working to strengthen IP protection, pharmaceutical companies should remain cautious as it can still pose a threat to manufacturers in the country,' said Decision Resources Group Analyst Chiara Stella Cochetti.

She added: 'Prices are set through free market pricing in both the public and private sectors. Free market pricing policies give manufacturers the flexibility to set their own prices in both sectors – a profitable strategy for those looking to enhance visibility and market share in the country.'