Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/11/2014 -- While economic growth is boosting demand for pharmaceuticals in Bangladesh, income inequality continues to drive the purchase of counterfeit medicines. In November 2013, the government vowed to continue fighting the growing industry of substandard, counterfeit and life-endangering medicines - a positive development for patients. Counterfeiting hijacks brands and infringes legitimate pharmaceutical manufacturers' patent and trademark rights - affecting their revenue-earning abilities in the Bangladeshi pharmaceutical market.
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Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: BDT124.25bn (US$1.52bn) in 2012 to BDT138.80bn (US$1.76bn) in 2013; +11.7% in local currency terms and +16.1% in US dollar terms.
- Healthcare: BDT349.08bn (US$4.27bn) in 2012 to BDT399.56bn (US$5.07bn) in 2013; +14.5% in local currency terms and +18.9% in US dollar terms.
Risk/Reward Ratings: While geographic diversification and investment into the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors of emerging economies such as Bangladesh may be a favourable strategy for any multinational pharmaceutical company, it is vital that a company recognises both the rewards and the risks present in a market. For Q114, Bangladesh stands at 16th position out of the 18 regional markets surveyed. Its overall rating of 40 out of 100 remains considerably lower than the average for the region.
Key Trends And Developments
In October 2013, it was reported that the number of heart disease patients and spending on treatment have been rising sharply in Bangladesh. For example, data from the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute (NHFHRI) in Dhaka suggest that a total 18,610 patients were admitted in 2012, a growth of 13% year-on-year from 16,471 patients admitted in 2011.
Bangladesh's Dhaka Medical College and Hospital opened its new 10-storey, 600-bed second building in October 2013. Another Bangladeshi medical college, the Faridpur Medical College and Hospital, opened its new six-storey, 250-bed building on October 19 to double its hospital capacity from 250 to 550 beds. The two medical colleges expanded their hospital capacities as a measure to improve healthcare facilities for poor patients in the country.
BMI Economic View: The Bangladeshi economy has demonstrated resilience in the face of multiple headwinds, which bodes well for our core view that real GDP growth will bounce in FY2013/14 (July-June) to 6.5%. In the face of the disruptive nature of confrontational politics in the country and the ongoing financial market stresses currently plaguing the region, its economy has continued to fare well. Key tailwinds - loose monetary policy and improving external demand conditions (particularly in Europe) - are expected to remain in play.
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