Market Overview - Ghana - Q1 2013

Ghana - Market Summary

Pharmaceutical Market By Sub-Sector (US$bn)

The Ghanaian healthcare sector is considered one of the best in West Africa, largely because it is an established market with decent infrastructure. Ghana, rather than Nigeria, is being increasingly targeted by multinational firms for investment or as a new export market, highlighting its evolving status as an emerging market. Notably, the uptake of Ghana's health insurance scheme appears better than a similar scheme adopted in Nigeria, with an increasing number of patients creating a rising demand for available and accessible healthcare facilities. Improving intellectual property laws and an emerging middle class of educated Ghanaians also increase the country's investment appeal. However, although the business environment in the country is stronger than that of Nigeria, it has a smaller local pharmaceutical market.

The discovery of hydrocarbon resources in Ghana led to it signing a US$13bn set of trade deals and loans with China in 2010. Though these loans are not directly for the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, the influx of capital should push up nominal GDP, personal wealth and reduce unemployment. Better infrastructure, particularly in the area of transportation and power generation, will encourage investment in all industries. These are all positive developments, as increased personal wealth correlates to an increased per capita expenditure of healthcare and pharmaceuticals. However, it does introduce the possibility of rapidly increasing inflation negatively impacting on the country's development, which is a risk to investments.

In 2011, the pharmaceuticals market was valued at GHC480mn (US$311mn), which is fairly modest in global terms and even by regional standards, representing just US$12.4 per capita. Market share is split relatively evenly between patented drugs, generic drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, though generic drugs do command the largest share of the total value (38.2% in 2011). Due to the levels of wealth inequality across the population, pharmaceutical demand is predominantly influenced by drug pricing. Reimbursed drugs have seen prices frozen for the past two years, rather than receiving biannual increases, and in November 2012 the National Health Insurance Authority stated that it planned to meet with representatives from the pharmaceutical industry to review essential drug prices. Still, despite the efforts of the state insurance agencies, many consumers continue to purchase medicines from private sources, as foreign medications continue to be seen as superior.

This article is tagged to:
Sector: Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare
Geography: Ghana, Ghana, Ghana, Ghana

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