First foreign pharma firm licensed to directly import drugs in Vietnam

Sanofi Vietnam has announced that it has received a licence to directly import drugs, becoming the first multinational corporation with such rights in the country.

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(Illustrative photo: VIR)

Sanofi Vietnam, which is said to hold about 4 per cent of the Vietnamese pharmaceutical market, has met the business conditions for drug imports outlined in Decree No.54/2017/ND dated May 8, 2017, guiding the implementation of the 2016 Law on Pharmacy.

After getting the license, Sanofi Vietnam directly imported the first batch of meningococcal meningitis vaccines.

The move is expected to leverage more foreign investment in the lucrative local pharmaceutical industry, especially when the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) takes effect, while increasing access to qualified drugs among the locals.

Industry insiders, however, raised concerns that the import duty on drug imports will be reduced when the EVFTA comes into force, thus putting more pressure on local pharmaceutical firms.

Sanofi Vietnam has three factories in the country, supplying 80 per cent of its products sold in Vietnam.

According to the Vietnam Drug Administration (VDA), the pharmaceutical industry will continue to enjoy double-digit growth in the next five years, with the market scale reaching $7.7 billion in 2021.


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