Myanmar pharmaceutical imports soar to $557 mln in Oct-July period

The import value of Myanmar pharmaceutical products amounted to US$557.08 million in ten months of the current financial year 2019-2020, the Central Statistical Organization’s trade statistics indicated. The figure rose from $434.7 million registered in the corresponding period (October-July) of last FY, the statistics showed. Myanmar imports 90 per cent of medicine and medical products through foreign markets, Myanmar Chamber of Commerce for Pharmaceutical & Medical Device (MCCPMD) stated. India is the leading supplier of Myanmar. Also, it is imported via Bangladesh, China, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, China (Taipei), Thailand, US and Viet Nam.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the international countries prioritize local sufficiency. Some states restricted exports of medical products. China suspended its exports. India also controlled exports of medicines, PPE and ventilators. As a result of this, most of the local people are concerned about the shortage of medicines in the local market and stored many stocks. The MCCPMD has already asked its members not to hike the price. Yet, it cannot control non-members — wholesalers and retailers, the MCCPMD stated.
“The shortage of medicines occurs at the present time, even in some private hospitals. Some pharmacies are temporarily closed amid the resurgences of coronavirus. I had to inquire about insulin pens and cancer drugs at the available wholesalers,” said a buyer from Dagon Myothit (North) Township. The government has already urged people not to make panic buying on medicines. The large purchases by consumers have contributed to the price rise in the local market.
The ministry launched the online licencing system for export and import businesses starting from 1 April, intending to reduce the person-to-person contact and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Of the items available online licensing system, medicines and raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry are exempted import licence fee and the number of items is not restricted. Furthermore, the pharmaceutical industry is excluded from the government’s Stay-at-Home order issued on 20 September 2020.
The Myanmar Chamber of Commerce for Pharmaceutical & Medical Device (MCCPMD), founded on 2 April 1999 as a non-governmental organization (NGO), aims to improve healthcare services for people, abide by the national drug regulations, and enhance public healthcare collectively. MCCPMD members are owners of local companies, foreign-owned companies, individuals and entrepreneurs. —Ko Khant (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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