The import value of Myanmar pharmaceutical products was estimated at US$397.46 million in the nine months (October-June) of the current financial year 2020-2021, according to Myanmar Customs Department.
Myanmar imports 90 per cent of medicine and medical products through foreign markets, the Myanmar Chambers of Commerce for Pharmaceutical & Medical Device (MCCPMD) stated.
India is the main supplier for Myanmar. Also, it is imported by Bangladesh, China, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, China (Taipei), Thailand, the US and Viet Nam.
Most commonly prescribed drugs are available in the market. Only some are out of stock for now. At present, pharmaceutical import is regularly flowing. However, the prices of pharmaceuticals were up by 5 to 10 per cent owing to the Kyat depreciation in the local forex market. The COVID-19 related medical devices including surgical masks and pulse oximeters are highly demanded in the country amid the COVID-19 surging cases, a market observer said.
The Trade Department granted a temporary import licence exemption for 92 HS code lines up to three months starting from 1 September, in a bid to facilitate the trade during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Ministry of Commerce also cut the red tape for imports of some pharmaceuticals which have been imported.
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) is accelerating its effort to facilitate the inflow of essential medicines in the devastating time of the COVID-19 crisis, along with the related committees, departments concerned, traders and entrepreneurs.
The federation formed a task force on 25 July 2021, with an aim to ensure adequate stock of essential medicine for prevention, control and treatment of the COVID-19 and have a smooth trade flow. – KK/GNLM