Despite economic downturn, Russia still represents a promising healthcare market

Despite uncertain economic environment, Russia still represents a promising healthcare market with strong potential for further growth. The growth will be primarily driven by strong governmental support, which aims at reversing the gloomy state of the Russian healthcare system and deteriorating demographic situation. The positive market outlook is also based on the expectation that the incomes of an increasingly health-conscious Russian population will resume an upward trend.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, Overview of Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Industry in Russia and CIS, finds that despite a tumultuous 2009, the Russian healthcare markets will continue exhibiting respectable growth rates. Having shrunk by 6% in USD-terms, the pharmaceutical market has grown at 28 per cent in RUB, while the medical devices market has expanded at 4-5 per cent. In the forecast period 2009-2013 both segments will grow at above world average rates, explained by under-satisfied home demand for healthcare goods and services.

"Governmental initiatives aimed at modernising medical equipment in Russian hospitals is sending positive signals to foreign investors - 60 to 70 per cent of the medical inventory in hospitals is outdated and needs to be replaced," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Vitaliy Lehkyy. "Also, the pharmaceutical state segment, covering the Federal Reimbursement Programme, coupled with hospitals' rising demand for expensive, specialised drugs will continue to contribute to market growth."

Russia is facing severe demographic challenges with the population's health deteriorating rapidly, due to an inefficient healthcare system and harmful lifestyles. On the other hand, GDP has grown steadily over the past few years and state coffers are relatively crisis-proof.

"This situation has prompted the Russian government to gradually augment public expenditure on healthcare and pronounce it an area of strategic priority for development," explains Lehkyy. "Thus, financial support from the government has been the principal growth engine for the mainly public Russian healthcare system."

However, the slow pace and incoherency of healthcare reforms will hamper market prospects. An ambiguous legislative framework will further intensify efforts at revamping the market.

Bureaucracy and cronyism are commonplace in the Russian healthcare industry, inhibiting market growth. For instance, all the healthcare products to be marketed in Russia are subject to obligatory registration, resulting in lengthy and costly procedures. FDA-approved or CE-marked medical equipment is not recognised either, which implies delayed market entry for foreign products.

"The healthcare industry in Russia will benefit from the close cooperation of all stakeholders active in the market: governmental authorities, manufacturers/distributors, medical establishments, insurers and consumers," advises Lehkyy. "The importance of such cooperation particularly increases against the need to formulate an effective policy to manage healthcare system amidst a challenging economic situation."

If you are interested in more information about this study (Overview of Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Industry in Russia and CIS), then send an e-mail to Katja Feick, Corporate Communications, at [email protected], with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, city, state and country.

Overview of Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Industry in Russia and CIS is part of the Medical Devices Growth Partnership Services programme, which also includes research in the following markets: European Urinary Incontinence Devices Market, Eastern European Advanced Wound Management Market and European Markets for Bone Grafts and Bone Cements. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.


Frost & Sullivan


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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