Industry Catapults Revolutionizing the Pharmaceutical Industry in Vietnam. Are they enough? : Ken Research


  • Vietnam’s growing affluent class and population of over 98 Mn have led to increased expenditure on medicines, reflecting a high paying capacity for healthcare.
  • The country is undergoing a demographic shift, with an aging population expected to reach over 20% by 2038 and approximately 25% by 2049, further driving the demand for pharmaceutical drugs.
  • The Vietnamese government has implemented proactive measures to enhance the healthcare system and pharmaceutical industry, including regulatory strengthening, streamlined drug registration processes, and support for domestic pharmaceutical production.
  • Specialty drugs are in high demand due to the rising prevalence of chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes, offering targeted therapies and improved outcomes for patients amidst Vietnam’s epidemiological transition.


With a population of over 98 Mn and a growing affluent class, Vietnam’s expenditure on medicines has risen significantly, showcasing its high paying capacity for healthcare. The country’s aging population further contributes to the demand for pharmaceutical drugs. To address these needs, the Vietnamese government has implemented healthcare reforms and initiatives to boost domestic pharmaceutical production. Specialty drugs are sought after to combat the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes, providing better outcomes for patients.

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1. High Paying Capacity/Expenditure on medicines

Vietnam has a relatively large market size with a population of over 98 Mn and a life expectancy of approximately 76 years. Around 30% of the Vietnamese population that can afford relatively expensive western medicine is growing, equal to 30 Mn 2005, per capita drug spending was $9.85, in 2010 it was $22.25 and in 2019 it was $75. The average growth rate in the period 2010-2019 is 14.8%.

2. Increase in Aging Population in Vietnam

According to the General Department of Population, Vietnam will become a country with an aging population by 2038 with the proportion of people aged 60 and over reaching over 20%. By 2049, the proportion of elderly people will account for about 25% of the population. With that, the demand for pharmaceutical drugs and medicines is only going to increase in the future.

3. Government Initiatives and Reforms

The Vietnamese government has implemented initiatives to improve the healthcare system and pharmaceutical industry. This includes measures to strengthen the regulatory framework, streamline drug registration processes, encourage domestic pharmaceutical production, and enhance intellectual property protection. These initiatives create a favorable environment for pharmaceutical companies to invest and expand their operations.

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4. Growing Demand for Specialty Drugs

The cancer incidence rates for all cancers per 100,000 persons, which have been reported by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IACR) in 2012, are 173 for males and 114.3 for females. Therefore there is a dire need for speciality drugs in Vietnam which will cure diseases like cancer prevailing among the masses.

Mortality measures from sample-based surveillance: evidence of the epidemiological transition in Vietnam

According to Bull Health Organ, 2022

  • Vietnam is experiencing an epidemiological transition, with a growing prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and rare genetic conditions.
  • Specialty drugs play a vital role in treating these complex diseases, offering targeted therapies and improved outcomes for patients.

According to Ken Research: Vietnam’s high paying capacity, coupled with an increase in the aging population, has led to a surge in expenditure on medicines. The government’s initiatives and reforms aim to strengthen the healthcare system and pharmaceutical industry, creating opportunities for growth and investment. The growing demand for specialty drugs reflects the rising prevalence of chronic diseases, particularly cancer, in the country. As Vietnam undergoes an epidemiological transition, the availability of targeted therapies and advanced treatment options becomes crucial for improving patient outcomes.

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Market Taxonomy

Vietnam Pharmaceutical Market Segmentation

By Type of Therapeutic Drug

Metabolism & Nutritional Medicine


System Infection






By Purchase Channel

ETC (Prescription Drugs)


By type of Freight End Users





By Type of Drug

Generic Drug

Patented Drug

By Sales Channel

Hospitals & Hospital owned Pharmacy

Individual Drug Stores & retailers

By Sales Mode



For More Insights On Market Intelligence, Refer To The Link Below: –

Vietnam Pharmaceutical Market

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