Pharma Industry Interest in Colombia Remains Despite Civil Unrest, Regulatory Issues


Moving from an emerging economy into a major Latin America hub, Colombia has seen growing interest from pharmaceutical companies since about 2010. However, some regulatory concerns, as well as political unrest, seem to have put a slight damper on that interest, with fewer companies building or buying in the country.

The Colombian economy has been quite strong in recent years, as it evolves from an emerging economy, said Jason Miles, an analyst in the office of the US Trade Representative. Colombia boasts the fourth-largest economy in Latin America—with Brazil, Mexico and Argentina holding the top three spots—along with the third-largest population, about 46 million.

It had GDP growth at about 5% in 2015 and was expected to remain fairly strong—with growth around 3% expected for 2016-2017—though not as robust as seen in the 2010-2014 period, which boasted a growth rate of about 4.8%/year, on average. The Colombian pharmaceutical market, which made up about 1.14% of Colombia’s GDP in 2015, is expected to reach about $5.37 billion by the end of this year (approximately 1.1% of 2016 GDP).

The bio/pharmaceutical industry, likewise, has showed consistent increases in sales over the last several years, a US Chamber analyst said. Demand for pharmaceuticals—especially generics, thanks to government efforts to contain healthcare costs—is strong, as well, the analyst added. However, Colombia continues to rely on imported drugs.

This article is reprinted from the September issue of Emerging Markers Outsourcing Report. The full article addresses the opportunity and challenges in the Colombian pharmaceutical market. To learn more, click here.

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Jim Miller is the founder and president of PharmSource Information Services, Inc. A preeminent expert in bio/pharmaceutical outsourcing, Jim established and presides over the industry’s principal resource for serious consumers of information on contract drug development and manufacturing, PharmSource STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE. He is editor and publisher of Bio/Pharmaceutical Outsourcing Report and Emerging Markets Outsourcing Report.

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