The Chilean pharmaceutical market is the second smallest in the Latin American region, trailed only by Peru, notes a 2010 report Reach and Markets report. It reports that pharmaceutical sales in Chile reached $1.21 billion in 2008. This represents impressive market growth of 9.51% in local currency terms and 9.81% in US dollar terms since 2007.
By 2014, the report forecasts the Chilean pharmaceutical market could be worth 899.88 billion pesos ($1.96 billion), increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.07% in local currency terms and 11.31% in US dollars. By 2019, the sale of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs will have reached a value of 1,165.35 billion pesos, increasing at a CAGR of 5.69% in local currency terms and 8.14% in US dollars.
Pharmaceutical laboratories are grouped in two main associations: CIF (Chilean Pharmaceutical Chamber), an entity that groups leading international pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, and ASILFA (Industrial Association of Pharmaceutical Labs), which groups both generics and branded generics manufacturers. One of the largest domestic producers is CFR Pharmaceuticals.
Foreign manufacturers such as Indian drugmaker Bal Pharma have a presence in the country. Total imports for 2008 reached $616 million, of which the USA had 13% of the market share, followed by Germany with 9%, France 8%, and China and Brazil both with 7% each. Espicom market analysis concludes that, with regards to the country's attractiveness to innovative drug companies, Chile stands above Argentina and Peru and below Mexico and Brazil.
The Chilean government agency in charge of the sanitary / marketing approval of pharmaceuticals is the ISP (Institute of Public Health), under the Ministry of Health. The US Commercial Service says that according to local regulations, around 80% of pharmaceuticals should be sold under medical prescription; however, it is not adequately enforced, and therefore self-medication is a common practice in Chile. The distribution channel is concentrated in three pharmacy chains that together have 93% of the market share.
CIF reports that total investment in associated companies CIF clinical studies in Chile is $24 million annually, approximately, involving more than 5,500 patients and about 1,200 researchers participated.
Over 50% of the investment will progress to Phase III clinical trials.
Many poorer people are yet to receive comprehensive health care coverage. The country's economic development is forecast to experience modest growth, with real gross domestic product (GDP) growth and fiscal expenditure expected to increase and provide a solid foundation for the further growth of healthcare and pharmaceutical expenditure. With a growing population of 17.2 million people the drug market is expected to grow as public health coverage expands.
Sources: CIA, USA Department of Commerce, Espicom market analysis, Reach and Markets.
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