Qatar healthcare market is one of the fastest growing markets in the world with the growth rate of ~% during the period 2011-2016. People across Qatar are facing several health care issues due to sedentary lifestyle and fast food consumption habits, such as obesity, diabetes, and other cardiovascular diseases, which are demanding for technologically advanced healthcare infrastructure. Qatar has been exponentially expanding its national healthcare system to cater the needs of its people and support economic diversification. The country has been developing its infrastructure including hospitals, diagnostic labs, and clinics in addition to the development of local clinicians, physicians and specialized doctors. In addition to all these factors, fast rising and ageing population in the country has also propelled the government to upgrade its public healthcare.
Medical hospitals in the country contributed to the maximum share of overall healthcare market as of 2016. Over ~% of the market revenues were generated from the hospitals segment.
Rising per capital expenditure on healthcare from USD ~ million in 2011 to USD ~ million in 2016 coupled with rising population from ~ million in 2011 to ~ million in 2016 has aided in the growth of the healthcare sector in the country.
Qatar healthcare market inclined at a CAGR of ~% during the period 2011-2016 from USD ~ million in 2011 to USD ~ million in 2016, primarily due to rising prevalence of non-communicable and lifestyle diseases including diabetes, asthma and heart disorders.
In February 2011, the Qatar Advisory Council approved legislation proposed by the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) that allowed deregulation of pharmaceutical imports to encourage free market competition. The move was intended to increase the availability of certain drugs via abolition of government controls and end the monopoly of a small number of importing agents. Deregulation of pharmaceutical imports aided in greater export of drugs as the pharmaceutical market grew by ~% from USD ~ million in 2011 to USD ~ million in 2016.
Patented drugs dominated the Qatar pharmaceuticals market with ~% of the revenue share in year 2016. High cost of the drugs coupled with heavy demand for patented drug to treat chronic diseases, owing to the high prevalence of chronic diseases, was the major factor which led to the growth of patented drugs in the pharmaceutical market. Small market size has discouraged manufacturers from setting up manufacturing units in the country and domestic companies to invest in pharmaceutical sector.
SCH has also stipulated all doctors to prescribe medicines only by their generic names and leave the final choice of purchasing generic or branded drugs to the patients.
High prevalence of chronic diseases in the region, which requires prescriptions and cannot be treated with the help of OTC drugs, was the major factor which led to the dominance. Moreover, the highly cautious nature of citizens to consult doctors before taking medicines also resulted in increased usage of prescribed drugs in the country. Coronary heart disease was one of the leading causes of death in Qatar and accounted for over ~% of the total deaths in 2016.
Large number of OTC drugs is banned in Qatar which demands prescriptions to be produced for purchase of pharmaceutical products. This was the major factor contributing to lower sales of OTC drugs in Qatar. However, with increasing manufacturing capabilities in Qatar by virtue of setup of domestic pharmaceutical companies, the OTC drugs segment market is likely to witness strong growth in the mid-long term.