By Joanne Bladd
Rise fuelled by increasing use of generic and over the counter drugs.
The pharmaceutical market in Oman is set to grow by 37 percent by 2014, fuelled by increasing use of generic and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, a report by Business Monitor International has said.
In its latest pharmaceutical review, the research firm said sales in the sultanate’s drug market are forecast to reach OR66m ($170m) by 2014, up from OR48m ($124m) in 2009.
Patented medications accounted for 83 percent of sales in 2009, with generic drugs taking a six percent slice of the market. The bulk of overall sales – 88 percent- derived from prescription medications, with OTC drugs lagging with just 10.8 percent of sales, analysts said.
“Overall, by 2014, the drug market value is forecast to reach OMR66mn (US$170mn)… with generic medicines and OTCs gaining limited market shares at the expense of patented drugs,” the report said.
Oman’s small size and strict price controls have hindered the growth of its pharmaceutical market, leaving it “virtually negligible in global terms” and dependent on imported drugs. However, analysts said: “The country does offer some draws, including its preference for branded products, a low-cost manufacturing base and an improved IP environment.”
There are also signs that Oman plans to ramp up local pharmaceutical production. In May, Oman Pharmaceutical Products received its first approval from the FDA – America’s drug licensing body – to export a generic antibiotic into the lucrative US market. The drug is already approved in Australia, Germany and the UK, the report notes, “a scenario which points to OPP's long-term strategic plan to expand into developed markets.”