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Pharmaceutical market in the Philippines - statistics & facts

As one of the countries with the highest out-of-pocket health expenditures in the Asia-Pacific region, there had been a growing demand for affordable yet effective medicines in the Philippines. In 2020, spending on pharmacies accounted for over 28 percent of the country’s current health expenditure, next to hospital spending. Through the Universal Health Coverage scheme, the government aims to impose a lower price cap on drugs and medicines and to make it even more accessible to Filipino consumers.

Pharmaceutical market landscape

The Philippine pharmaceutical industry is comprised of a mixture of multinational corporations (MNCs) and local manufacturers and distributors. MNCs are engaged in the marketing and distribution of finished medicine products as well as raw and intermediate materials. Among the leading MNCs in the country were Pfizer, Glaxosmithkline, BOE. Ingelheim, and AstraZeneca. Meanwhile, local pharmaceutical companies have more diverse roles in the supply chain. Among the leading ones were Unilab and Pascual Laboratories which manufacture their own medicines. Other local companies manufacture for MNCs or are otherwise limited to packaging, distribution, and retail. Overall, there were 403 drug manufacturers in the country in 2021.

Due to the limited number of drug manufacturers in the Philippines, the country had been highly reliant on the imports of both raw materials and finished drug products to fulfill the growing domestic demand. In 2020, the import value of pharmaceutical products to the Philippines amounted to about 1.7 billion Philippine pesos, the majority of which were medicaments or pharmaceutical drugs. In that year, India, Germany, and the United States were the leading source countries of pharmaceutical products imported to the Philippines. Additionally, the Philippines imports generic medicines which are procured by the national government as part of its Universal Health Care Act.

Outlook of the Philippines’ pharmaceutical industry

Through improved government initiatives, the country’s pharmaceutical industry is forecast to expand in the succeeding years. This includes reducing the cost of medicines, increasing government spending on health, and establishing drugstore outlets in rural areas that will reduce the prices of drugs to about half of the price of branded medicines. In addition, the government had been encouraging foreign pharmaceutical companies to establish manufacturing facilities in the Philippines through the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) act that will give tax incentives to pharmaceutical firms that establishes facilities in the country. This will not only boost local supply but will also establish the country as a manufacturing hub for pharmaceutical products and preparations, an industry that is currently valued at 34.81 billion Philippine pesos.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 25 most important statistics relating to "Pharmaceutical market in the Philippines".

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