BMI View: Our outlook of modest growth for Zimbabwe ' s pharmaceutical sector should be treated with caution as poor monitoring and recording practices along with the country ' s reliance on aid from various sources make market figures unreliable. Pharmaceutical spending will be driven mainly by imported medicines with demand owing to a high communicable-disease burden. However, low purchasing power, a declining economy and ongoing political tensions pose high risk and uncertainty for the market, deterring multinational drugmakers.
Headline Expenditure Projections
Pharmaceuticals: USD361mn in 2014 to USD380mn in 2015; +5.2% in US dollar terms. Forecast revised upwards from last quarter .
In BMI's RRI table for Q3 2015, Zimbabwe scores 27.8 out of 100, unchanged from last quarter. The country ranks 31 st and last out of the markets assessed in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.
Key Trends And Developments
The Zimbabwean government has launched a strategic public-private partnership (PPP) framework to boost the country's TB and HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support ability. 'This marks a step towards achieving zero new infections, zero deaths and zero discrimination for HIV and TB,' Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa said (allAfrica). The partnership will focus on finding solutions to human resource challenges, sustainable health financing and information systems for universal access, Parirenyatwa noted. Also, the framework will leverage resources from the public and private sectors directly to lower the mortality and morbidity among people infected with HIV and TB in the country.
The Zimbabwe government will introduce new vaccines, measles rubella (MR) and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in June, that prevent measles and polio respectively in children, according to reports by Zimbabwe Mail. This follows an increase of rubella cases in the country and the identification of rubella congenital syndrome (CRS), which can occur in the developing foetus of a pregnant woman. According to Deputy Director, community nursing in the Health and Child Care ministry, Regina Gerede, children would receive 12 antigens, mostly at birth and at four week intervals starting from six weeks up to 14, as well as at nine months. However, there is continued resistance by some communities to vaccines as a number of children in the past have developed side effects and died. Some resistance is said to be triggered by social and cultural values. To this end, the government has set a strong arm of advocacy and social mobilisation for EPI programmes.
Zimbabwean scientists, in partnership with a global consortium of researchers, are in the process of conducting the country's first HIV vaccine HVTN107 trial, reports allAfrica. The trial forms part of the global effort to find a permanent solution to control HIV. The trial is aimed at determining the effectiveness of the vaccine to prevent HIV-negative people from contracting the virus. The trial will also analyse the safety of new vaccine products and regimens while measuring the immune response among trial subjects, according to clinical trials coordinator Portia Hunidzarira. The trials of the HVTN107 vaccine are based on ones used in Thailand's RV144 trial, and are expected to be conducted in June 2015 at the Seke South Clinic in Chitungwiza, Harare, according to a paediatrician at the University of Zimbabwe, Lynda Stranix-Chibanda .
Economic View: The recent decline of Zimbabwe's economy is set to continue as stagnant demand, a liquidity squeeze, lower commodity prices and a depreciating rand combine to weigh on economic activity. A poor harvest due to drought and risks to the trade balance have prompted us to revise down our 2015 growth target to 2.4%, from a previous 2.9%.
Political View : Robert Mugabe - and his ruling ZANU-PF - remains the dominant force in Zimbabwe, with limited political freedom a major obstacle to any opposition challenge. However, signs of growing internal divisions following a purge of senior figures, combined with risks associated with a worsening economic climate, add to the uncertainty over the post-Mugabe political climate.