For the acquisition of drugs and other supplies the government is seeking to harmonize the process of pharmaceuticals acquisition and the reduction of drug prices.
Health Sector in Peru
In 2011 Peru’s pharmaceutical market had an estimated US$ 1.5bn in sales. Sales should
continue to rise to about US$ 2.5bn in the upcoming years. The market for medical devices grew
15% in 2011 with estimated sales of US$1.2bn.
The sector combines both privately and publicly run health care providers. Health care services
are available in Lima and other major cities. In the case of the public sector, MOH, Essalud, the
armed forces and police, have all established health care networks. The Essalud scheme, which
forms part of the ministry’s network, caters to Peruvians in the formal economy who are
integrated into the social security system known as Instituto de Seguridad Social (IPSS).
Overall the health sector in Peru remains the sole responsibility of the Ministry of Health
(MOH). The Ministry oversees the implementation of a universal health insurance scheme.
Currently more than 30% of the population does not have access to health coverage.
Insurance coverage is still low throughout Peru. Although government has been increasing health
care funding in the last 10 years, the private sector accounts for the largest share of expenditure,
with out of pocket costs amounting to 75% of the total. Out of pocket expenditures remain high,
but the number of citizens with health insurance currently at 65%, has increased considerably
from just 35% in 2006. As consumption grows and also Peru’s middle class, private health
insurance companies will continue to attract new members.
For the acquisition of drugs and other supplies the government is seeking to harmonize the
process of pharmaceuticals acquisition and the reduction of drug prices. The approach includes
inter-institutional and corporate purchases. The Constitution protects free market competition
and bans price controls measures. In this sense, the government will continue to utilize these
purchasing strategies to achieve reductions in expenditure.
In November 2009 a law for medications including medical devices and sanitary products was
approved. This law provided significant improvements and modifications to the regulatory
environment, by offering quality services to patients and laying a foundation for the future
development of the pharmaceuticals industry in Peru. The law reinforces the Office of
Medications, Raw Material, and Drugs (DIGEMID), which monitors quality control of
medications in the country. According to the law counterfeit drug businesses are accountable
with a stricter penal code. Owing to this, the pharmaceutical market saw an increase in
competition between serious long term players and a reduction in counterfeit products (20% of
The market has shown substantial growth in the past few years, owing largely to a self-
medicating population resulting from expensive fees for doctor visits. A study conducted by
DIGEMID showed 34% of patients in Lima self medicate. Self administering may pose a threat
to the generic drug market. Consumers mostly opt for brand name drugs, since scepticism lurks
over the quality of generic drugs. However, the government and private sector have begun media
campaigns to educate on the effectiveness of generic drugs registered with DIGEMID. Generic
drugs accounts for 17% of the market and this share is expected to grow substantially in the next
few years. Given their affordability, the government favours the importation, production and use
of generic drugs, especially in the public sector health care system.
The pharmaceuticals manufacturing sector, though small, mostly produces generic drugs. A
leading player in the industry, US-based Bristol Myers Squibb recently acquired Abeefe- one of
Peru’s most prominent local pharmaceuticals company. Inkafarma (based in Peru), Quimica
Suiza (Peru), Farminindustria (Peru), Bioticas Fasa (Peru) and Bayer (Germany), are significant
players in the sector. Other foreign pharmaceutical companies with offices in Peru include GSK
(UK), Lilly (USA), Pfizer (USA), Roche (Switzerland) Sanofi Aventis (France) and Wyeth
The Peruvian market remains attractive with a stable political environment, steady economic
growth an expanding middle class, the government’s initiative to strengthen investments in the
health care sector and the implementation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). FTAs with the US
and other countries have reduced tariffs and prices for medicines and medical devices. Peru’s
FTA with the European Union (EU) will come into effect in late 2012 or early 2013.
ξ 30 million market with a huge growth potential as Peru steadily consolidates as an
emerging economy with fast paced growth in the region.
ξ New clinics are opening in Lima and across the country pushing the demand for medicines
and medical devices.
ξ Generic drugs
ξ Medical devices: laparoscopic surgery, X ray equipment, diagnostics and laboratory
equipment, ultra sound and MRI
ξ FTA with EU will lower Peruvian import prices for UK pharmaceuticals and medical
Latest export opportunities – Healthcare
Latest export opportunities – Peru
Getting into the market
When doing business in Peru, a distributor or agent is the key route into the market. It is
important to be clear about the benefits to Peruvian companies when you talk about your
business and your long term commitment.
More about doing business in Peru
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
in country - or contact your local international trade team.
ξ Juan Luis Reus, UKTI. British Embassy Lima. Tel: +51 617 3033 or email:
Contact your local international trade team
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
TECNO SALUD 2013 (medical devices): September 2013
Website address: www.expotic.com.pe
Latest events – Healthcare
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters