In first nine months this year, the local pharmaceutical market had a merely 9% growth rate, from a year earlier when the market recorded 11% growth margin. “The main problem that competitors in the industry had to face this year and the main factor that triggered a slowdown of the growth pace was the pressure exerted on the profit margins geared by the legislators’ failure to adjust prices to the foreign currency exchange rate”, Robert Popescu, interim CEO of A&D Pharma, told Wall-Street.

He added that next year would be marked uncertainty fueled by a set of undetermined factors, such as the policy of the new Government and of the new Health Ministry, currency exchange rate or global economic crisis.

One of the main growth engines was the retail market that recorded a 16.6% increase in September 2007 and September 2008, while the hospital market marked a 6.9% decline in the same interval. The gap is mostly due to the transfer of national health programs (oral diabetes medication, insulin, post-transplant and oncology medication) from hospital to retail chains.

At the end of first nine months, the local pharmaceutical market reached 6,793 billion lei, the retail market is valued at 5.88 billion lei (86.5%), while the hospital market had a 914 million contribution (13.5%).

Changes in the hierarchy of the market’s best drug manufacturers

Hierarchy of the leading players is in ongoing change, the top positions being divided by narrow margins.

After the UK-based drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) ended year on leading position, and kept its ranking in the first half of this year, it was outcompeted at slight advantage by the local branch of Swiss producer Hoffmann La Roche, who achieved a 7% market shares, and 477.5 million lei sales, calculated for the last 12 months.

According to quarterly report remitted by Cegedim, UK-based GSK lost the second position, lagging behind Sanofi-Aventis that finished on third position last year. In the last 12 months, local branch of Sanofi-Aventis reported 470 million lei sales and a 6.9% market share.

The last year’s leading player, GSK is now on third position, with 6.8% market share. In the last year, the local branch of British drug maker recorded 462.9 million lei sales.

The first Top 5 company that keeps that last year’s position is Novartis, with 460.2 million lei sales in the past 12 months.

Top 5 performers of the drug market ends with local branch of Servier that holds 6.1% market share and 411.1 million lei sales.