Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/07/2012 -- With a few exceptions, the attractiveness of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) pharmaceutical market remains relatively stable. However, there is little cause for optimism in our most assessment, as a result of a combination of weaker drug market projections, resulting from austere drug policies and US dollar strength, which reduces our projections when measured in this global currency.
Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: LTL1.64bn (US$659mn) in 2011 to LTL1.67bn (US$614mn) in 2012; +1.9% in local currency terms and -6.8% in US dollar terms.
- Healthcare: LTL6.98bn (US$2.81bn) in 2011 to LTL7.21bn (US$2.65bn) in 2012; +3.3% in local currency terms and -5.6% in US dollar terms.
- Medical devices: LTL680mn (US$273mn) in 2011 to LTL745mn (US$274mn) in 2012; +9.7% in local currency terms and +0.3% in US dollar terms.
Risk/Reward Rating: In our Q412 Pharmaceuticals Risk/Reward Rating (RRR) matrix, Lithuania maintained its place of 15th, out of the 20 markets surveyed in Emerging Europe. Although Lithuania boasts a largely risk-free operating environment, its muted rewards prospects will continue to impact its standing in the regional matrix.
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Key Trends & Developments
Speaking in early September 2012, Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said businesses in Lithuania should focus on high value-added product development. Praising the local biotechnology industry, he said that Lithuania is becoming one of the 'life science centres' in the Nordic-Baltic region, and that annual production could surpass oil output, with clear economic benefits for the country.
In mid-September 2012, US-based precision healthcare equipment company Thermo Fisher Scientific announced it has opened a new research centre at its Lithuanian Analytical Technology subsidiary Fermentas International, following an investment of EUR41mn. According to the firm, the investment will improve the working conditions of the company and will open up opportunities for development and production. The new building is undertaking research and development for life sciences research labs and is designed for the recruitment of more than 60 new investigators. Thermo Fisher Scientific fully acquired the previously Lithuanian based Fermentas, which is a manufacturer and distributor of enzymes, reagents and kits for molecular and cellular biology research, in mid-2010 for US$260mn.
BMI Economic View: We continue to see signs of a slowdown in economic activity over the coming quarters, which we expect to persist into 2013. However, a slight adjustment to our net export forecasts has seen our real GDP growth forecast for 2012 move up from 1.9% to 2.3%.
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