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Malaysian Healthcare Industry Is in Good Shape

Country's healthcare industry in 2009 is expected to grow at 8 percent

MALAYSIA, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The recent economic downturn has contributed to a significant shift in the Healthcare industry in 2009 regionally, but not for Malaysia.


Dr Pawel Suwinski, Senior Consultant of the Healthcare Practice, Asia Pacific comments that the Malaysian healthcare companies are not going to be affected as badly as it may seem.

"Malaysian economy is faring better as compared to other APAC countries. This is due to adequate monetary and fiscal responses, more resilient banking sector, and positive BOP: mostly accredited to oil export. As predicted, the more affected industries are manufacturing, electronics and automotive. The outlook for healthcare remains cautiously optimistic provided oil prices will not go up, China will not slump into recession and the US financial market will not collapse," he comments.

The country's healthcare industry in 2009 is expected to grow at 8 percent and is being supported by RM 13.7 billion budget (RM 13 billion in 2008). This is an increase of 5.35 percent from previous year, which represents 2 percent of GDP.

Tham Lin Hui, Senior Consultant of Pharmaceuticals Healthcare, Asia Pacific also echoes that the recent economy crisis presents an array of opportunities to key players in the pharmaceutical industry. It is estimated that the country's pharmaceutical industry will expand at a 5 percent rate.

"We can expect higher corporate activities with possible mergers & acquisitions. Players in this sector will be adopting new technologies (molecular, genetic) in the production of vaccines and therapeutic drugs will be the trend," Tham comments.

In a recent interview with the Managing Director of Kotra Pharma, Jimmy Piong says, the company will continue to invest in the development of a new range of products in anticipating of the growing demand for generic drugs as well as brand building activities to increase market share.

"Not just pharmaceutical alone, healthcare providers are also looking to increase their market share in the year 2009, with KPJ, Parkway, Sime Darby Healthcare, and Columbia Pacific/Asia vying for potential acquisitions and expansions as seen recently," adds Tham.

The healthcare industry is perceived more as a defensive in comparison to other industries. More often than not products are viewed as essential goods that should be less affected by cyclical economic events.

Healthcare companies see the global economy crisis as an opportunity in emerging markets. Companies are prepared to take bold steps with acquisitions or joint ventures with niche medical technology players in China & India such as Meditronics, Alpha X-ray & Shinva.

The pharmaceutical industry on the other hand foresee opportunities for investment by foreign companies in the form of clinical research outsourcing and clinical trials. The rest of the players such as medical devices and healthcare services provider will have a fare share of opportunity in biotechnology based products as well as expansion abroad.

Despite the economy meltdown, opportunities are anticipated for the Asia Pacific region especially Malaysia. Being one of the countries with excellent infrastructure and facilities as well as cost-competitiveness compared with other developing APAC nations, Malaysia healthcare industry is likely to gain the most out of this global economy condition.

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