Medicine Market: Opportunities in Panama

Because the country produces only 6% of the medicines demanded, there are several business opportunities that can be explored by industry businessmen.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Currently, local manufacturers do not have the capacity to produce and supply the Panamanian market, which has generated several business opportunities for several companies.

You may be interested in "Pharmaceuticals: Competitors in Panama

At the Central American level, the Panamanian market is the third country that buys more pharmaceutical products abroad. According to reports from CentralAmericaData, during 2018 the main buyer in the region was Costa Rica, with $777 million, followed by Guatemala, with $656 million, Panama, with $620 million, Honduras, with $500 million, Nicaragua, with $375 million and El Salvador, with $364 million.

In this context, the Foreign Trade Promoter of Costa Rica, issued a commercial alert in which it explains that the situation of this market makes "... suppose that there are business opportunities that can be explored in greater detail and deepening by the Costa Rican export sector."

With respect to the local market situation, Rafael Ortiz, general manager of Laboratorios Farmacéuticos S.A., told that "... there is talk of bringing factories to Panama from abroad to lower the cost of medicines, however, those we have have quality standards and qualified local labor', I am inclined to encourage the training of industrial pharmacists, as most remain in the medical visit or pharmacies."

See article by and the Procomer Commercial Alert (in Spanish).

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In the complex scenario of health crisis, companies in the pharmaceutical sector in Guatemala are facing shortages of raw materials, mainly those imported from the U.S., Europe and China.

In the context of the covid-19 outbreak, the pharmaceutical industry has kept alive and according to businessmen in the sector, the country's laboratories maintain their operations at an average of 70%.

Medicines: Changes Approved in Panamanian Market

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In the third debate, the Assembly approved a bill establishing that the government may make exceptions to the sanitary registration of pharmaceutical products in situations of critical shortage.

At the same time, it empowers the Ministry of Health to purchase medicines under the criteria established by the World Health Organization (WHO), which will allow that when local agents do not participate in the sale, it will be possible to go through international agents, informed the National Assembly on October 3.

Medicines: Which Companies Do Business with the Government?

June 2019

Agencia Farmacéutica Internacional, Meditek Services and Baxter are three of the companies that in the first quarter of 2019 were awarded contracts to provide medicines to public health institutions in the region.

An analysis of CentralAmericaData's Trade Intelligence unit provides data on the companies that were favored last year with contracts to supply pharmaceutical products and medical supplies to the different Ministries of Health and Social Security entities in Central American countries.

Firms Selling Medicines to Central America

November 2018

Reprico, Labymed, J.J. Cohen, Novartis and Nipro Medical Corporation are some of the firms supplying medicines to public health institutions in the region.

Figures from the information system, "Public Purchases in the Health Sector" developed by the Trade Intelligence area of CentralAmericaData, details the list of companies favored with contracts to provide pharmaceutical products and medical supplies in tenders published between July 2017 and June 2018, by the several Ministries of Health and Social Security of Central American countries.

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