DIVERSIFICATION IS THE NAME OF THE GAME
The government's cost-containment measures were mainly targeted at the top tier of the three national medical schemes: the
Civil Servant Medical Scheme (covering 10 percent of the population), the focus area for most MNCs. As the most expensive
therapeutic classes were targeted, scores of MNCs lost their place on the List of Essential Medicine. Logically, representatives
of MNCs urge the government for a more positive balance between innovative & generic medicine, as, according to Dr. Kitima
Yuthavong, CEO of PReMA, "there is a need for governmental funds to be balanced between the aim for cost containment, and
the demands of patients and doctors."
Aman Bhattacharjee, managing director, Merck
Despite the efforts of the association, it seems unlikely that the government is willing to change its ways. Furthermore,
although the fruits of Indochina's biggest market might not be reaped as easily as they had been prior to 2008, this does
not mean that success is impossible. "The last IMS analysis showed that 60 percent of government hospital sales were still
originator products, but that the number is declining and growth is coming from branded generics both in the government and
private segments," said Helen Featherstone, general manager at IMS.
Biotech – Ready for the Next Episode
Managing director Aman Bhattacharjee of Merck, one of the fastest growing MNCs in Thailand, outlined that it is the company
portfolio that allows for an optimal position on the Thai market. "We are focused not just on the private sector, but on the
government sector as well, while most MNCs focus solely on the private sector," he said.
TOP 10 PHARMA COMPANIES IN THAILAND
However, government offers big business in terms of volume, so that base is needed to grow and sustain the business. Over
the years, companies lose their value in Thailand because their commodities become cheaper, but the company has to ensure
that production costs come down while volumes go up. Merck is doing this in high-growth segments, such as oncology and fertility."