BURLINGTON, Mass., Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that Thailand remains one of the most demographically attractive pharmaceutical markets in the world, with over 99 percent of its population having some form of health insurance coverage in 2012. Thailand's extensive network of healthcare facilities, comprehensive health insurance policies and strong medical tourism industry are among the major driving factors of pharmaceutical market growth since its healthcare reform in 2001. The universal coverage scheme, the country's largest health insurance policy, ensures the vast majority of the population has access to medical care. With a $4.7 billion prescription drug market in 2013 and nationwide access to health services, Thailand possesses a number of favorable factors for multinational companies looking to establish a strong presence in the region.
According to the Thailand Market Access Tracker, Thailand's regulatory environment is relatively friendly to foreign manufacturers, although its intellectual property protection laws are weak. In 2011, the government funded 75 percent of the country's total health expenditure, while out-of-pocket expenditure was 14 percent, indicating a relatively low financial burden for the population. The government encourages the use of drugs listed in the National List of Essential Medicines, all of which are fully reimbursed by the three major public health insurance schemes. The country has little domestic pharmaceutical production and relies heavily on imported drugs.
"The success of Thailand's healthcare systems is underpinned by its three major public health insurance schemes, particularly the universal coverage scheme. Despite the politically turbulent environment characterized by violent periodic protests, Thailand's universal coverage scheme remains a popular policy with the general population, with satisfaction levels reaching as high as 93 percent among users and 79 percent among providers in recent years," according to Decision Resources Analyst Jonathan Chan, M.Med.Sc. "The government's commitment to ensuring access to healthcare services for the whole population is welcome news for foreign manufacturers. However, the rising cost of providing healthcare for its aging population has prompted the government to review its health spending patterns and reimbursement policies. In the coming years, the government will likely impose greater cost containment measures through price cuts and more stringent HTA evaluation for reimbursement."
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SOURCE Decision Resources