The COVID-19 pandemic occured in the end of 2019 and officially broke out in early 2020, leading to many complicated consequences, directly affecting public health and the world economy.

It seemed that the pharmaceutical industry would be the main development industry during the Covid pandemic, but on the contrary, the Pharmaceutical industry as well as other industries have suffered a lot of damage from Covid.

Important changes after the Covid-19 pandemic:

There is a shortage of main pharmaceutical raw materials (API3: Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient: Active ingredients/active ingredients in drugs, which are the main pharmaceutical raw materials, accounting for 60-70% of drug production costs) from China. /India drives up the cost of drug production.







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Nguồn: Bộ Thương mại


API sources manufactured in China & India account for 55% of global APIs and nearly 70% of total APIs used in drug manufacturing in Vietnam. In 2020, the outbreak of Covid-19 caused a severe shortage of APIs as API production in both China and India was disrupted during the lockdown and social distancing. Meanwhile, the demand for important APIs for drugs such as antibiotics, respiratory aids and antipyretics has increased sharply in many epidemic-affected countries, causing the production costs of the whole industry to increase significantly.

In general, this scarcity caused the average price of most APIs imported to Vietnam to increase by 5-8% compared to the same period last year and the gross profit margin of domestic pharmaceutical companies to decrease by about 1-8%. 3% in 2020. Since the price of input materials spiked while Vietnam's pharmaceutical sales decreased or increased very low in 2020 (details below), it was almost impossible for manufacturers to raise prices. sold to offset the increase in production costs, negatively affecting the overall profit of the industry.


Social distancing and strict controls on hospital visits have disrupted the demand for healthcare, as people with non-urgent health problems limit medical examination and treatment, leading to sales of prescriptions and drug sales. less than.

Based on industry data for November 2020 from VNPCA, it is estimated that Vietnam's total pharmaceutical sales in 2020 increased by only 2.8% year-on-year (significantly lower than the CAGR of 11.8% giai same period in the period. period 2015 - 2019), comes from the following reasons:

  • For prescription drugs: Fear of infection and isolation requirements have limited the number of patients who come for regular health check-ups, diseases that are not in the group of critical conditions, and the need for medical examination and treatment decreases. drug sales were very low in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2020 down 10-15% compared to the same period in previous years. However, after the quarantine period, the number of medical examination and treatment increased, helping to increase the sales of pharmaceutical products by 0.5% compared to the same period last year.
  • For over-the-counter drugs: In the market, the demand for drugs decreased, while the demand for masks, gels/hand sanitizers increased (not the main products of pharmaceutical companies).


The supply of new drugs in the country was interrupted because the new GMP factories were behind schedule: 

According to data from the Ministry of Health, domestically produced drugs maintained a relatively high compound annual growth rate (CAGR) at 13.8% in the period 2015 - 2019 with the support of the Government's policies. along with many newly invested GMP factories. However, in 2020, the growth of domestic drug supply was interrupted, estimated to increase by only 3.9% over the same period (source: VNPCA) because a number of domestic drug factories could not be put into operation yet. (due to the slow progress of GMP approval from social distancing and travel restrictions).


  • Profit results in 2020 of the pharmaceutical industry
    Total accumulated revenue until September 2020 of listed pharmaceutical companies in Vietnam reached VND 10.8 trillion (-1.3% over the same period). The total accumulated profit after tax by September 2020 of these companies reached VND 1.5 trillion (+12.6% over the same period).
  • Other important events
    M&A activities in the pharmaceutical industry continue to attract the attention of foreign investors. 2020 continues to be a remarkable year for M&A activities in the pharmaceutical industry, with many attractive M&A deals. The total value of M&A in 2020 is estimated at VND 1.68 trillion, with the participation of many foreign investors, with expertise in the high-quality drug list that can assist Vietnamese pharmaceutical companies to improve the quality of their products. High production standard.

Table: Details of M&A deals in 2020






920 Bilion VND

SK Group (Korea), specializing in cancer, neurological & cardiovascular drugs

from 0% to 25%


405 Bilion VND

Stada (Germany), specializing in the production of generic drugs for many diseases

from 70% to 76%


350 Bilion VND

ASKA (Japan), specializing in digestive medicine, hormones and obstetrics and gynecology

from 0% to 25%


< The article is compiled from the annual report of SSI >