Pharmaceutical markets of this area, with values ranging between 0.1 billion euros in Estonia and 4 billion euros in Poland, registered average growth of above 6% in 2006.
On the other hand, the pharmaceutical market of Germany or France posted increases of only 2.2% and 3% respectively, according to the in line with the "Key Success Drivers on the Pharmaceutical Market of Romania," survey conducted by A.T. Kearny consultancy.
The domestic pharmaceutical market, estimated to be worth 1.5 billion euros, last year generated growth by almost 20%, continuing the expansion reported in 2005, as well.
The 12 states in the Central and Eastern Europe are an overall market of 11.8 billion euros, less than 10% of the total pharmaceutical market of EU-15 (162.2 billion euros).
"Among the states of central and eastern Europe, Romania is currently boasting one of the strongest growth rates in terms of the pharmaceutical market, being outperformed only by Russia," reads the study of A.T. Kearney US firm, one of the world's major providers of consulting services.
Nevertheless, the Romanian market is still characterised by one of the lowest levels of consumption.
"With average expenses related to pharmaceutical and health products of 58 euros per capita, Romania lags far behind east-European states: it reaches less than one third of consumption per capita posted by the Czech Republic and almost one tenth of the level of France. This is why the growth potential to bridge this gap is huge," the survey also points out.
A.T. Kearney representatives believe Romanians' increasing purchasing power, doubled by the rising budget sums earmarked by the government, reforms in the health care sector and the more extensive use of over-the-counter drugs are the main factors that will help close the gap between us and the other European states.
At the same time, another factor expected to have a positive impact over the domestic pharmaceutical market is the introduction of private health insurance.
Until 2005, the Romanian system experienced major liquidity problems, which started to peter out amid the higher earmarked funds.
In 2005, the domestic market started gaining steam and the main players are talking about a 10-15% increase in 2007, below last year's rate. In this context, competition between the main players is set to rise, particularly for producers of generic drugs.