Iraq Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report

Providing expert analysis, independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the pharmaceuticals and healthcare industry.

Report includes: BMI Industry View, Industry SWOT Analysis, Industry Forecasts, BMI's Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Risk Reward Index, Market Summary, Economic Forecasts, Company Profiles and Competitive Landscape.

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Iraq Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report
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BMI View: Despite an expected improvement in Iraq' s economic activity over the coming quarters, political instability and security threats will limit the country's ability to attract pharmaceutical investors. Against this background, drug imports will continue to cover most of domestic demand. More broadly, relative to previous quarters, the upcoming reconstruction of the country will translate in higher consumption indices and improved commercial opportunities, although high country risks will protract Iraq's dependence on international aid to support the ailing healthcare system.

Headline Expenditure Projections

  • Pharmaceuticals: IQD2.02trn (USD1.73bn) in 2015 to IQD2.12trn (USD1.79bn) in 2016; +4.8% in local currency and 3.4% in US dollar terms. Forecast broadly in line with last quarter .

  • Healthcare: IQD12.68trn (USD10.87bn) in 2015 to IQD13.39trn (USD11.33bn) in 2016; +5.6% in local currency and 4.2% in US dollar terms. Forecast broadly in line with last quarter.

Headline Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Forecasts (2014-2020)
2014 2015 2016f 2017f 2018f 2019f 2020f
f = BMI forecast. Source: WHO, UN Comtrade, BMI
Pharmaceutical sales, USDbn 1.624 1.731 1.790 1.879 1.975 2.079 2.171
Pharmaceutical sales, % of GDP 0.72 0.98 1.10 1.00 0.91 0.85 0.80
Pharmaceutical sales, % of health expenditure 15.8 15.9 15.8 15.7 15.7 15.6 15.6
Health spending, USDbn 10.300 10.866 11.327 11.951 12.607 13.295 13.882

Risk/Reward Index

In Q117 we have revised upward Iraq's Risk/Reward Index score to 37.6 from 35.2 in the previous quarter (out of 100). The score revision was driven by higher sector value growth indices. Iraq is currently ranked 17th out of 33 markets in the Middle East and Africa Region in terms of attractiveness to pharmaceutical investors. While most score components are suffering from the effects of armed conflict and low oil prices, the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector will sustain its long-term potential for development.

Latest Updates

  • In October 2016, UAE-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Julphar launched two new medications for the management of Type 2 diabetes, Xelevia and Velmetia, which are licensed from Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) to be commercialized in most CCG countries, including Iraq, as part of a license and supply agreement signed between the two companies in April 2014.

  • As of information reported in October 2016, an estimated 120 tons of expired pharmaceuticals have been confiscated by authorities at Iraq's Umm Qasr Port in the previous few months.

  • On October 10 2016, in light of the growing healthcare crisis and limited number of health personnel, the Iraqi government approved a law to provide comprehensive support and incentives to doctors in order to prevent massive emigration in this sector and encourage overseas doctors to return to Iraq.

  • From September 28 to October 6, the World Health Organization (WHO) and federal and regional health authorities conducted training sessions in the Kurdistan region focused on the early warning alert and response network system (EWARNS), which improved the preparedness of staff from the new health facilities established to cope with potential epidemics and health needs in light of Mosul humanitarian response and newly displaced populations.

  • On World Polio Day on October 24, the Ministry of Health with support from UNICEF and the WHO launched a 5-day nationwide campaign to immunize an estimated 5.8 million children under the age of 5 in Iraq, regardless of previous vaccination status.

BMI Economic View

In 2017, the Iraqi economy will come out of the crisis in which it has been mired for the past three years. Improvements in the security situation will result in a more conducive environment for private consumption, while the reconstruction of the country will provide numerous investment opportunities. No boom is on the horizon, however, given that low oil prices will continue to weigh on government expenditure, and that the country's manufacturing base remains virtually nonexistent.

BMI Political View

The dismissal of Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari marks a clear escalation in Iraq's institutional crisis. The risk of seeing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi impeached will increase over the coming weeks, and the uncertainty will benefit ousted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is leading the charge against the government. The crisis will weaken even more the Iraqi State, at a time when it is facing a severe economic crisis, and preparing for a decisive military campaign to retake Mosul from Islamic State.

BMI Industry View
Table: Headline Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Forecasts (2014-2020)
Industry Forecast
Pharmaceutical Market Forecast
Table: Pharmaceutical Sales, Historical Data And Forecasts (Iraq 2012-2020)
Healthcare Market Forecast
Table: Healthcare Expenditure Trends, Historical Data And Forecasts (Iraq 2012-2020)
Table: Government Healthcare Expenditure Trends, Historical Data And Forecasts (Iraq 2012-2020)
Table: Private Healthcare Expenditure Trends, Historical Data And Forecasts (Iraq 2012-2020)
Pharmaceutical Trade Forecast
Table: Pharmaceutical Trade Data And Forecasts (Iraq 2014-2020)
Table: Pharmaceutical Trade Data And Forecasts local currency (Iraq 2014-2020)
Industry Risk/Reward Index
Middle East and Africa Risk/Reward Index - Q3 2016
Iraq Risk/Reward Index
Regulatory Review
Regulatory Regime
Intellectual Property Issues
Pricing Regime
Reimbursement Regime
Market Overview
Healthcare Sector
Table: Healthcare Resources (Iraq 2010-2015)
Table: Healthcare Personnel (Iraq 2010-2015)
Table: Healthcare Activity (Iraq 2010-2015)
Research & Development
Clinical Trials
Competitive Landscape
Research-Based Industry
Table: Multinational Market Activity
Generic Drugmakers
Pharmaceutical Distribution
Pharmaceutical Retail Sector
Company Profile
State Company For Drugs Industries And Medical Appliances (Ninewa)
Demographic Forecast
Table: Population Headline Indicators (Iraq 1990-2025)
Table: Key Population Ratios (Iraq 1990-2025)
Table: Urban/Rural Population & Life Expectancy (Iraq 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group (Iraq 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group % (Iraq 1990-2025)
Pharmaceutical Expenditure Forecast Model
Healthcare Expenditure Forecast Model
Notes On Methodology
Risk/Reward Index Methodology
Index Overview
Table: Pharmaceutical Risk/Reward Index Indicators
Indicator Weightings

The Iraq Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report features BMI Research's forecasts for drugs and healthcare expenditure and imports and exports, focusing on the growth outlook for the prescription, OTC, patented drugs and generics market segments.

BMI's Iraq Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report provides industry professionals, strategists, company executives, investors, analysts and sales/marketing heads with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the Iraq pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark BMI's pharmaceutical and healthcare market forecasts for Iraq, to test other views - a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in the Iraqi pharmaceutical and healthcare market.
  • Target business opportunities and risks in the Iraqi pharmaceutical and healthcare sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Iraq.
  • Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors using our company profiles (including SWOTs, KPIs and latest activity) and competitive landscape tables.


BMI Industry View

An at-a-glance perspective on the latest regulatory developments, key forecast indicators and major corporate developments, covering the prescription, OTC and generics markets. The pharmaceuticals and healthcare SWOT outlines strategic factors that affect the basic assumptions underpinning BMI’s forecast analysis, and taken together with BMI’s political, economic and business environment SWOTs, it gives a complete overview of market climate.

BMI Industry Forecast Scenario

Industry forecasts to end-2019 for all key indicators, supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecasts:

  • Healthcare: Total healthcare expenditure (USDbn), healthcare expenditure (% of GDP), healthcare expenditure per capita (USD), hospital beds, doctors, and birth & mortality rates (all per ‘000 population).
  • Pharmaceutical Market: Drug expenditure in USDbn, % of GDP and per capita (USD).
  • Patented Drug Market: Prescription drug sales (USDbn & % of total sales).
  • Generic Drug Market: Generic product sales (USDbn), generic sales (% of total sales).
  • OTC Drug Market: OTC sales (USDbn & % of total sales).
  • Macroeconomic Forecasts: Nominal and real GDP, % real GDP growth, % private consumption growth, % industrial output growth, % consumer price index, % GDP price deflator, exports, imports, trade balance, current account balance, foreign direct investment, exchange rate against USD, government expenditure and external debt.

BMI’s Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Risk Reward Index

BMI’s Risk Reward Index provides investors (both national and multinational) looking for opportunities in the region with a clear country-comparative assessment of the market’s risks and potential rewards. Each of the country markets are scored using a sophisticated model that includes more than 40 industry, economic and demographic data points to provide indices of highest to lowest appeal to investors, with each position explained.

Market Summary

A snapshot of key market characteristics, including total size of the pharmaceuticals and healthcare segments, growth drivers, leading therapeutic areas and the competitive landscape

Industry Developments

A focus on government healthcare reforms, epidemiological trends, mergers and acquisitions, product launches, market entries, FDI activity, R&D, biotechnology, clinical trials and supply chain issues.

Regulatory Regime

Details of the industry regulatory framework and key legislation covering the licensing of new products/services, pricing and reimbursements, intellectual property, taxation and advertising, as well as analysis of the overall regulatory burden.

Competitive Landscape

The competitive landscape section provides comparative company analyses and index by USD sales and % share of total sales – for the total pharmaceutical sector, as well as the OTC, generics and distribution sub-sectors.

Company Profiles*

Examines the competitive positioning and short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. Strategy is examined within the context of BMI’s industry forecasts, our macroeconomic views and our understanding of the wider competitive landscape to generate Company SWOT analyses. The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.

*Company profiles are not available for every country. Those reports instead contain information on the current activities of prominent companies operating in the market.