SEE Pharmaceutical Market Healthy in 2010

11 Nov 2011 • by Natalie Aster

The growth of the over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical market in Southeast Europe (SEE) in 2010 was driven by higher sales of analgesics, digestives, vitamins and minerals. Oncology drugs also recorded higher sales because of an increase in prices and in the number of cancer patients, according to the report “SEE Pharmaceutical Market Healthy in 2010” by SeeNews.

Pharmaceutical demand in the SEE countries continued to be covered mainly by imports and their share in terms of value reached 80% in both Romania and Bulgaria in 2010.

Pharmaceuticals producers in the region kept their focus on the manufacturing of low-cost generic drugs with the major companies generating the bulk of their sales revenue abroad. The Bulgarian pharmaceutical market grew in terms of value in 2010. The pharmaceutical companies sold drugs worth 2.019 billion levs in 2010, which is a 9.0% increase compared to 2009, according to data from global market research company IMS Health. In terms of volume, the market shrank by 2.0% on the year. However, the decrease was not caused by lower consumption of drugs but by the fact that the pharmaceutical companies started to put more tablets in a single package, according to industry experts. Sales of brand-name drugs marked growth in both value and volume terms but the market is still dominated by generic drugs, which accounted for 80% of the total number of units sold.

The country’s largest Bulgarian-owned generic drugs maker is Sopharma AD, which recorded non-consolidated sales of 63.31 million levs on the domestic market in 2010. The company produces the market’s top-selling medicine in the past 10 years – the analgesic Analgin. In 2010 Sopharma’s exports increased by 19.44% and totalled 145.7 million levs or 69.72% of its net sales revenue. Sopharma ended up in the fifth spot in the ranking of the 15 biggest SEE pharmaceutical companies in terms of total revenue for 2010. It was the highest placed Bulgarian drug manufacturer in the ranking with total revenue rising nearly 12% and net profit up 21% last year.

In Serbia, pharmaceutical sales were estimated at 67.1 billion dinars (636 million euro), down from 71.2 billion dinars in 2009, according to market intelligence company Business Monitor International. The export of basic pharmaceutical products jumped by 21.9% year-on-year to 157.6 million euro in 2010. Serbia’s major pharmaceutical producers are state-owned Galenika AD and Hemofarm AD, controlled by German generic drug-maker Stada Arzneimittel.

Report Details:

SEE Pharmaceutical Market Healthy in 2010
Published: October 2011
Pages: 3
Price: US$ 630.00

Mergers and acquisitions

The SEE pharmaceutical market saw no major mergers and acquisitions in 2010. The only notable deals took place in Bulgaria. Sopharma continued to increase its stake in its associate Unipharm AD as part of a consolidated effort to boost its competitiveness on the domestic market. Sopharma also merged its pharmaceutical logistics provider Sopharma Logistics AD and drug distributor Sopharma Trading AD in September 2010.


In 2010, all of the largest drug wholesalers in the SEE countries managed to increase their total revenue on an annual basis. The sharpest year-on-year growth in total revenue was reported by Romania’s Sanofi-Aventis, Europharm Holding and Farmexpert D.C.I. All of the major companies reported net profits with Farmexpert D.C.I. topping the list with net earnings of 12.5 million euro.

Bulgaria’s Sopharma Trading, majority owned by Sopharma, retained its top position on the local pharmaceuticals market with a 22.8% share by May 2011, according to data of IMS Health.

Croatia’s leading drug wholesaler Medika d.d. announced its market share stood at 29.36% as of June 2010, compared to 28.15% a year earlier. Pliva Hrvatska, the leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in the country, holds a 25.32% stake in Medika. 2011 is shaping up as another profitable year for the leading drug wholesalers in SEE. In the first half of 2011, Sopharma Trading reported a 59.7% increase in its net profit to 2.765 million levs on an 18.16% increase in its total revenue to 224.9 million levs.

Medika’s total revenue was up by 6.70% to 1.052 billion kuna and its net profit rose by 19.26% to 9.070 million kuna in the first half of 2011.

More information can be found in the report “SEE Pharmaceutical Market Healthy in 2010” by SeeNews.

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