Date Published:
Jun 01, 2011
Discussion Papers
Focus Area(s):
DP 2011-11

The Philippines is one of the biggest pharmaceutical markets in the ASEAN region, next only to Indonesia and Thailand. It is a lifeline to thousands of Filipino workers and a significant contributor in terms of value of output. This industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Meanwhile, its output, drugs and medicines, account for 46 percent of the total medical out-of-pocket expenses of Philippine households. For poorer people, this percentage goes up to 55 percent. Making essential drugs and medicines more affordable especially to the poor and underserved is one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is therefore essential to examine the profile of the pharmaceutical industry in the country to better understand the supply chain of drugs and medicines for policy formulation purposes. Using administrative data from agencies that have regulative powers over the industry, a profile of the Philippine pharmaceutical industry was developed. As of December 2009, the Food and Drug Administration’s records show that there are 284 drug manufacturers, 438 drug traders, 634 drug importers, 4,719 drug distributors of which 3,956 are wholesalers, and 32,538 retail outlets. Manufacturing is dominated by multinational brand originator giants and numerous local generics/branded generics producers. Meanwhile, trading is done by few large companies and thousands of small retail outlets. The industry players are diverse and formulating policies therefore must take into consideration how each player may be affected by policy issuances.


This publication has been cited 4 times

In the Media
  1. Bernadette E. Tamayo . 2021. Tolentino eyes pharma zones. Manila Times.
  2. Butch Fernandez . 2021. Tolentino pitches for expanded ‘pharma zones’ for pandemic-stricken economy. Business Mirror.
  3. Dindo Matining . 2021. Tolentino: Palawakin ang pharma zone sa ‘Pinas. Abante.
  4. Senate of the PH. 2021. Expanding pharma zones: A ‘win-win’ solution for pandemic-stricken economy – Tolentino. Senate of the Philippines.

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