Pricing differences in core ASEAN markets for branded well known pharmaceutical products

January 22, 2016

One of the key questions our customers are always asking is which market should be addressed first in the ASEAN Region. Although many issues should be considered together, as this is clearly a multifactorial decision, in most cases product expected prices are used as key marker of market attractiveness.


We have analyzed the prices of some well know pharmaceutical brands randomly selected from the four core ASEAN markets: Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. The products belong to different ATC categories (Diabetes, SNC, Respiratory, CV) and the rank of prices varies between 3 and 71 €.


Based on the outcomes, some conclusions are summarized below:

  • Indonesia is the country with lower average prices in all categories except in one product

  • Based on our sample, Malaysia would be the second LAP (low average price) market, although differences with Thailand and Philippines are lower than in the case of Indonesia and in some specific products prices are higher

  • It’s not possible to establish a third category, as for example, based on our products basket Thailand has the highest prices in diabetes while in Philippines Respiratory or Cardiovascular products are more expensive.

As second step we analyzed the participation of each market in total consolidated sales, looking for any relevant effect of price differences. In our four markets and considering all the Pharmaceutical Market (Emergpharma panel), Indonesia represents 34% of the total, Thailand 28%, Philippines 24% and Malaysia 14%. Looking at the products selected, the percentages varies a little, but not much: Indonesia is still the biggest market with 32%, followed by Philippines 27%, Thailand, 26% and Malaysia 15%. Looking at the data dispersion, it is difficult to find a pattern: for example, in the CV category, there are big discrepancies between ARB IIs and Statins. A similar situation happens in the diabetes category, where oral drugs and insulin analogue prices behave differently in each market.


In summary, as a general rule it can be said that Thailand and Philippines achieve the higher prices but there are big differences depending on the product, without a perceived bias based on therapeutic group. These “higher priced” markets represent 52% of the four. Price differences can be over 300% between countries for the same product and, out of the mentioned overall finding, a tailored and detailed survey is required to establish market pricing attractiveness for an established portfolio.

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