Espicom View: Local production accounts for around half of Vietnam's pharmaceutical consumption, making the country heavily reliant on imports. Despite the collaboration being aimed at providing combination vaccines to the domestic market, we believe that this could be a key step towards boosting Vietnam's pharmaceutical exports. In November 2009, Deputy Health Minister Cao Minh Quang announced that given that Vietnam had recently become self-sufficient in terms of measles vaccine production, the next step was to look towards exporting these vaccines. We expect increased harmonisation with international GMP standards to provide a major boost for exports by those manufacturers with sufficient capital to make the necessary investments. A further positive for the domestic industry is reports that the government is looking to increase foreign direct investment by multinationals.
Daiichi Sankyo's subsidiary, Kitasato Daiichi Sankyo Vaccine, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have begun technical co-operation to produce the first measles-rubella combined vaccine in Vietnam.
The Kitasato Institute Research Center for Biologicals (now the Kitasato Daiichi Sankyo Vaccine) and the JICA offered technical assistance to Vietnam's public corporation Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals (Polyvac) to produce the measles vaccine for four years between March 2006 and March 2010. As a result of this co-operation, Polyvac acquired technology for domestic production of measles vaccines.
This technical co-operation project utilises the rubella vaccine production technology of Kitasato Daiichi Sankyo Vaccine, in addition to the existing measles vaccine production technology of Polyvac, to build a current GMP compliant measles-rubella combined vaccine production system that is expected to contribute to lowering the rate of measles and rubella cases in Vietnam.