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The Romanian pharmaceutical market increased by 2.7% y/y (3.4% y/y in EUR terms) to RON 2.8bn (EUR 647.5mn) in Q2/2013, tempering from the 4.3% y/y growth in the previous quarter. On a quarterly basis, the market shrank both in local currency and EUR terms, as it continued to be negatively affected by the drawback of public support and long payment terms.
Prospects for H2/2013 remain rather on the pessimistic side, considering the authorities’ delay in revising the subsidized drug list and the budget constraints affecting the sales through hospitals. Market forecasts see the full-year growth at around 0.7% y/y in RON terms, slowing down abruptly from the 8.3% y/y rise in 2012.
The OTC segment continued to perform above the market average in Q2, as pharmaceutical companies have been paying increasing attention to their OTC portfolios since the introduction of the clawback tax in 2012. The share of OTC in total pharma sales rose by 0.7pps in Q2/2013 compared to the same quarter in 2012, but the bulk of sales continued to be generated by prescription-based medicines.
Pharmacy chains kept cautious expansion policy in H1/2013, yet larger players announced ambitious development plans for the following years. According to the latest statistical data released in July this year, the number of pharmacies increased by 2% y/y in 2012 and, considering the openings announced by the biggest chains, roughly the same growth pace will be maintained in 2013 as well.
The ranking of the top pharmaceutical chains remained unchanged in 2012 compared to 2011, in terms of revenues. The cumulated net turnover of the top five players increased by 9.4% y/y in 2012, according to our calculations based on official financial data published in July 2013. In terms of net profit, two of the largest five players turned to net loss last year, compared to 2011 when all the biggest pharmacy chains reported net profit. However, this is mostly explained by the chains’ continuous expansion- with one exception, all the top five players reported increasing headcount in 2012 compared to 2011.
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