BRAZILIAN DRUG SALES COOL; US DOLLAR VALUE SOARS
Data released by Brazilian drug industry federation Febrafarma indicates that local drug consumption declined in the first half of 2005, but market value has continued to soar in US dollar terms.
According to the survey, unit sales were roughly 2% lower year-on-year in the first half, at some 939.2mn packs. Febrafarma expects unit volume to grow around 5% this year, broadly in line with expectations for GDP growth this year. The sharpest fall this year was in July, with sales falling from 148.72mn packs in June to 132.71 packs in the month.
However, pre-tax sales value improves the picture, with the market worth BRL12.49bn in the first half-equivalent to a 10% rise in local currency terms. In the 12 months to July, sales were around US$9bn and up 17.4% year-on-year, in line with leading international surveys of Brazil's drug market.
Sources at Febrafarma have commented that this performance is "not bad," in view of last year's very strong sales. The results also reflect currency appreciation and a price rise authorised earlier in the year. However, the industry group's president added that economic slowdown has hit other industries in Brazil, with many companies now revising their forecasts for this year, and claims that government policy is doing little to stimulate the pharmaceutical sector.