A Study of the Market for Pharmaceuticals in Afghanistan
Critical Success Factors in Pharmaceutical Markets
WORLD WIDE SCIENCE
This is the last study in a series of six case studies that aim to enhance understanding of the role of markets in affecting prospects for growth, and the distribution of the benefits of growth, in Afghanistan. The studies explore the structures and functioning of markets in Afghanistan, with a view to assisting in the formulation of policies to enhance broad-based growth and poverty reduction in a market environment.
The purpose of this study of the market for pharmaceuticals was to gain insight into the experiences of Afghan businesspeople in this market to identify how many players there were, where the greatest margins were made, what connections there were between market players and what, if any, barriers were faced by new entrants.
The study found that:
• There has been a dramatic increase in the quantity of both donated and privately imported medicines entering Afghanistan since 2002. The private sector accounts for between 70 and 80 percent of total pharmaceuticals consumption and the market may be worth up to US$200m per year.
• Medicines for use in public health facilities are determined by the National Essential Drugs List. Privately imported medicines are also nominally limited by the Ministry of Public Health list of medicines licensed for use in Afghanistan. Were all importers to bring medicines into the country formally, only drugs from this list would be available on the market? However, there is widespread smuggling of medicines into Afghanistan. The proportion of smuggled drugs may be as high as 80 percent of medicines sold in the private sector. [Section 2: Use of pharmaceuticals in Afghanistan.
• The pharmaceuticals market is much more chaotic than the other markets studied in AREU’s political economy research stream. Pharmaceuticals are brought into Afghanistan from many...