How has the coronavirus pandemic affected the Eurasian pharmaceutical market (PM)?
Published on 26 January 2021 by Elizaveta
I would single out 3 waves of COVID-19 impacted pharmaceutical market in Kazakhstan:
Wave 1 - pre-coronavirus expectations, which largely began in the Q2 2020 and based on insufficient information received from several countries experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19. In accordance with that in March 2020, we saw an artificially highly sales driven by anxiety. Kazakhstan, in my opinion, took the right stance when it decided to impose a hard lockdown during the uncertain times. This resulted in a decline in the pharmaceutical market turnover by about 40-50% in almost all TAs in April-May, which was more due to the fact that the people was only purchasing highly needed products.
Wave 2 occurred as a consequence of the infection disease outbreak, which peaked in the second half of June and July. During this period, we observed a sharp surge in sales of immunomodulators, antibiotics, anticoagulants, antipyretics and other products. However, this surge was not seasonally related, resulting in a shortage of products on the market. Market players faced a "out of stocks" of cough and cold medications because the planned season for this type of medicine is September and October. At this period, the government gave for a one-time permission for products are needed for COVID-19 treatments, and we have no information about how much was imported into the country.
Wave 3 is the post-peak coronavirus phase, when there is a daily detection rate of up to 1000 cases. At this stage, we observe this fact does not affect the retail market as much as it did in June-July, even with this detection rate. In addition, the non-attendance of children in pre-school and school facilities, as well as quarantine measures, has led to a decline in the incidence of seasonal diseases, which resulted again in lower sales, all immunomodulatory, antipyretic, antibacterial and other products, both for adults and children.
According to my expectations, for Q1 2021, seasonal products will continue a negative trend, and only in the second half of the year, I foresee the market will be recovered. During this period, there will be stable or slight increases in sales of products for chronic disease management, such as cardiac, nutritional and other similar ones. I assume that food supplements such as vitamin Omega-3, vitamin D3, dietary supplements and etc. will demonstrate a continually rapid increase in sales due to no pressure from price regulation and people refocusing healthy lifestyle.