The prescription for 2021 – to invest in high quality and give back to society

December 28, 2020 | 09:00
In 2020, Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market is estimated to have grown by around 4 per cent compared to the previous year, according to healthcare data multinational IQVIA. The market is expected to continue growing significantly in terms of both capacity and value thanks to the country’s population size of nearly 100 million people, improved access to healthcare, and the government’s efforts to promote universal health insurance.
1525 p11 the prescription for 2021 to invest in high quality and give back to society
By Michal Wieczorek - CEO, Davipharm

In addition, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement has unlocked more opportunities both for overseas as well as domestic companies. The government aims to increase the share of locally produced pharmaceuticals to 80 per cent, even though Vietnam’s pharma industry still relies on imports, as domestic output can only meet around half of the total demand.

As a result of government initiatives, domestic pharmaceutical firms will play an increasingly dominant role in Vietnam. That’s why in 2017, Adamed Pharma S.A., a Polish pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, acquired the controlling stake in one of the fastest-growing Vietnamese pharmaceutical companies – Davipharm. It remains the largest direct private Polish investment in Vietnam.

Today, Davipharm is the fifth biggest local pharmaceutical company in the prescription drug market. With over $10 million invested by Adamed by the end of 2020 in Davipharm’s production plant in the southern province of Binh Duong, know-how and technology transfer, upgrade of production standards to implement EU-GMP standards (expected early 2021), and export development, Davipharm is on the way to strengthen its market position this year.

We believe that the EU-GMP qualified factories are the key growth drivers for the future. Statistics from SSI Securities Corporation showed that by the end of 2019, 19 production lines/facilities in Vietnam have met EU-GMP, Japan-GMP, and PIC/S-GMP standards. With the current pressure on the nation’s healthcare budget and pharmaceutical spending, once Davipharm is certified with the EU-GMP, it will be a tremendous change for the company, business partners, and for patients, as Davipharm will provide high-quality trusted medicines at affordable prices for Vietnamese patients nationwide, helping local government to achieve the most critical healthcare goals.

In a meantime, while getting ready for the EU-GMP audit, Davipharm has completed another milestone in terms of investing in quality – the first HP Zone (special requirement production zone for high potency drugs) for solid forms in Vietnam operating in its factory in Binh Duong province.

Keeping in mind that 40 per cent of high potency drugs are oral solids, and injectables account for 50 per cent of the (global) market, plus our strong commitment to ensuring the highest standards of health and environmental safety and full compliance with the regulations, it felt natural we needed our own HP Zone.

Davipharm itself has 28 high potency medicinal products and now we are opening our door to others as more innovative companies look to outsource this segment to avoid the high costs of maintenance.

Establishing local production of high-quality affordable drugs will allow Davipharm to expand to other markets, treating Vietnam as an export hub. As Vietnam’s pharmaceutical trade deficit will continue to rise in the upcoming years, investment in developing exports is one of the priorities.

Building high-quality strong local brands which can be successfully sold not only in the country of origin but also abroad is one of the strongest competences of Adamed, and is being well transferred and implemented at Davipharm.

But Adamed’s investment in Vietnam is not limited to production capabilities and standards improvement. As a socially responsible business, the company funds educational and informative programmes to support the local community.

In cooperation with the Embassy of Poland in Hanoi, Adamed has been supporting the Vietnam-Poland High School in the capital, which is one of the few establishments in Vietnam referring to good relations that have been maintained for many years between the two countries. The scientific programme ADAMED SmartUP, aimed to improve educational standards of the school, has been run for the past two years already and the classrooms have been equipped with new digital screens.

At the same time, under the Davipharm brand, the Internship Programme with the Binh Duong Medical College and with Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy has begun. Those and other new corporate social responsibility programmes are planned to continue and develop in 2021.

Unquestionably, Vietnam is going to stay on the list of top priorities for Adamed in 2021. At Davipharm, we sincerely appreciate the support of the government and the Ministry of Health for domestic pharmaceutical companies.

However, while ensuring quality and safety of medicines for patients’ treatment, the authorities should enable smooth implementation of the drug registration timelines set out in the Law on Pharmacy and guiding regulations, which are widely appreciated and anticipated by the industry.

* Michal Wieczorek became CEO of Davipharm in early 2020, after working for Adamed Pharma for eight years.

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