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Medical imports decline

Medical imports decline

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People wait for prescriptions to be filled at a pharmacy in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photo by: Pha Lina

THE supply of pharmaceutical products has outstripped demand, causing a decrease in the value of drug imports during the first half of 2011, experts say.

An increase in the number of firms importing pharmaceutical products in 2010 led to this year’s drop, Medical Trust Company Sales Manager Kaing Koh Seng said.

“[In the first six months] we have seen the amount of imported drugs decrease slightly, as there are now more local competitors vying in the market,” he said.

Figures from Ministry of Commerce’s Camcontrol Department show the value of drugs imported fell to US$52.1 million during the first six months of 2011, from $58.3 million in the same period last year.

Cambodia imports medical products particularly from Vietnam, China and Thailand, but also countries such as South Korea and Bangladesh, said Phnom Penh-based Kaing Koh Seng.

The Kingdom’s small market size meant economies of scale are not as easily attained for imports as they are in other countries, which can make prices for pharmaceutical products more expensive than in its neighbours, he added.

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