Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/15/2013 -- BMI View: The government's increased commitment to healthcare provision and an increasingly ageing population that has high per-capita pharmaceutical and healthcare expenditure will continue to attract pharmaceutical and private healthcare providers to Singapore. However, we highlight that the small population will be a limiting factor for pharmaceutical investors in terms of its growth potential.
Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: SGD901mn (US$716mn) in 2011 to SGD942mn (US$748mn) in 2012; +4.6% in local currency terms and +4.4% in US dollar terms. Forecast broadly in line with previous quarter.
- Healthcare: SGD13.16bn (US$10.47bn) in 2011 to SGD14.61bn (US$11.59bn) in 2012; +11.0% in local currency terms and +10.8% in US dollar terms. Forecast unchanged from previous quarter.
- Medical Devices: SGD449mn (US$357mn) in 2011 to SGD466mn (US$370mn) in 2012; +3.8% in local currency terms and +3.6% in US dollar terms. Forecast broadly unchanged from Q312.
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Risk/Reward Ratings: Singapore continues to rank fifth of the 18 key market in Asia Pacific with an unchanged score of 61.9. While the city state is one of the least risky markets in the region, its industry rewards score of 40 is lower than the regional average of 49. This can be mainly attributed to its small population and consequently the country's small pharmaceutical market.
Key Trends And Developments
- In July 2012, US pacemaker firm Greatbatch announced plans to set up an active implantable medical device (AIMD) research and development (R&D) centre in Singapore. The AIMD R&D centre is part of the company's medical device strategy and is the first step towards expanding its business footprint into the Asia Pacific region, where it will concentrate on designing and developing AIMDs for the cardiovascular and neuromodulation markets.
In the same month, Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) has proposed to enhance MediShield to provide greater health coverage from 2013. The key changes are:
- MediShield coverage to extend to policyholders up to the age of 90.
- Claims up to SGD70,000 (US$55,790) for hospital bills annually instead of the current SGD50,000 (US$39,850).
- Lifetime limits to be increased from SGD200,000 (US$159,400) to SGD300,000 (US$239,099).
- Extend coverage to include short-stay wards in emergency departments and cover inpatient psychiatric treatment.
- In May 2012, Spanish drugmaker Almirall granted global rights for its DHODH inhibitor LAS186323 to Singapore-based ASLAN Pharmaceuticals. ASLAN will be responsible for funding and developing LAS186323, which is in phase I development for treating rheumatoid arthritis, to the conclusion of phase II with the support of a development programme.
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