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For the Q210 update of this report, our forecast for Hong Kongs HKD7.67bn (US$988mn) pharmaceutical market has been revised upwards, mainly due to an improved macroeconomic environment. We now expect combined sales of prescription drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to reach HKD11.91bn (US$1.53bn) in 2019, which represents compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 4.45% and 4.50% in US dollar and local currency terms, respectively.
Hong Kongs healthcare system is evolving rapidly. This trend was demonstrated in October 2009 when the first phase of an electronic health record project was launched. It is intended to revolutionise the delivery of medical services in the Special Administrative Region and full enrolment is expected by 2013- 14. Electronic health records allow patient information to be easily shared between doctors, nurses and prescribers. They also increase efficiencies, reduce errors and lower costs. The first phase of the project will involve feedback and preliminary proposals from private and non-government organisations. Hong Kong has maintained fifth place in the Asia Pacific Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Business Environment Ratings (BERs). The Special Administrative Regions Pharmaceutical Rating increased from 55.5 in Q110 to 57.0 in Q210, due to an improvement in the Pharmaceutical Market category. Hong Kong scores highly for Country Structure, Market Risks and Country Risk. However, its score for Pharmaceutical Market is below the regional average. Over the medium term, we expect Hong Kong to be supplanted by high growth emerging markets of China and India..
As seen in many other developed states, Hong Kongs public sector is struggling to meet its healthcare obligations and is seeking assistance from the private sector. For example, during October 2009, Hong Kongs Chief Executive Donald Tsang revealed plans to encourage the development of four new private hospitals on four sites - Wong Chuk Hang, Tseung Kwan O, Tai Po and Lantau - that have been recently developed.
A series of product scandals in early 2009 have shown Hong Kongs pharmaceutical regulations to be below international standards. The countrys Pharmaceutical Service of the Department of Health monitors medicines and the supply chain. It educates stakeholders with necessary professional knowledge and operates a penalty system to deter non-compliance with regulations.
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