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Healthcare Resource Guide: Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan Statistics

Summary

Market Entry

Current Market Trends

Main Competitors

Current Demand

Registration Process

Reimbursement

Barriers

Trade Events

Best Prospects

CS Contacts

Capital: Tashkent

Population: 32.4 million

GDP: $67.2 billion

Currency: Soum

Language: Uzbek

Summary

The healthcare industry of Uzbekistan is still in transition from a Soviet–style, centralized state-run system to a more efficient model with wider involvement of the private sector. The Ministry of Health is the main governing body of the healthcare sector. The public portion of the sector has three levels: national, regional, and district (or municipal). Public healthcare consumes about 14.2 percent of the state budget (approximately $1.9 billion in 2016). The private sector has grown to more than 5,300 clinics and firms, mainly private clinics, pharmacies, and companies involved in healthcare delivery or the production and supply of pharmaceuticals or medical equipment. Uzbekistan is seeking to grow its domestic production of medical goods; official information claimed that medical-goods production in 2016 totaled more than $325 million, a year-on-year increase of almost 11 percent.

Market Entry

Government procurements and commercial imports (of pharmaceuticals and equipment used by private clinics) are primary ways for U.S. companies to enter the healthcare market. The following factors should be considered in developing a market entry strategy:

  • Importer Solvency: Currency exchange for certain types of imports is still limited and can be delayed, but some importers keep offshore accounts or have hard currency from export operations. Businesses should confirm cash availability and the solvency of partners, clients, and customers.
  • Building Relationships: The government and public sectors are major importers of goods and services, but their procurement procedures are complex. Solid relationships with decision-makers are useful, and employing a local representative or sales agent, in addition to visiting potential trade partners – especially in the initial stage of negotiations – is useful in developing professional relationships.

Current Market Trends

While the growth of the public health sector is limited by budget constraints, the relatively fast-growing private sector may create good export opportunities for U.S. suppliers of pharmaceuticals and medical products.

Main Competitors

A number of large public and private companies dominate the market in terms of importing, distributing, and selling medical supplies. Some local companies have domestic production and packaging capabilities. Major companies active in Uzbekistan’s healthcare sector include Uzpharmsanoat, Jurabek Laboratories, NIKAPHARM, Nobel Pharmsanoat, Dori-Darmon and Remedy Group.

Current Demand

Annually Uzbekistan consumes pharmaceutical products worth more than $1 billion, 80 percent of which are imported. Russia, China, India, and Ukraine have traditionally been among major source countries of pharmaceuticals imported into Uzbekistan. In addition, the Government of Uzbekistan seeks foreign partners interested in establishing local production of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

Registration Process

All activities in the healthcare sector of Uzbekistan are subject to licensing. Licensing regulations are available here: https://www.minzdrav.uz/services/licens/lmed.php

Reimbursement

All Uzbek citizens have universal public coverage under the 1996 law on health protection. The government guarantees a basic benefits package that includes primary care, emergency care, care for “socially significant and hazardous” conditions and specialized care for groups of the population classified by the government as vulnerable. Health services that fall outside the basic package are funded through private health insurance, employer contributions, union funds and private out-of-pocket payments. Foreign residents are eligible for free emergency services and are entitled to the same rights in accessing health services as citizens.

Barriers

Limited access to foreign currency is viewed by many as the main market-entry barrier in Uzbekistan. Protecting intellectual property rights is also a significant concern among international businesses.

Procurement & Tenders

Any government procurement has to go through an open tender process. More information on tenders can be found at http://www.minzdrav.uz/projects/list.php?IB=21&SECT=381.

Trade Events

The 23rd Tashkent International Healthcare Exhibition (TIHE) international exhibition, a place for professional meetings and discussions between government representatives, producers of medical equipment and supplies, scientists and practicing doctors, will take place in Tashkent on April 25-27, 2018. Information about the trade event is available here: http://www.tihe.uz/. The trade show organizer also puts on other exhibitions which may be of interest. Its main Web page is http://www.ite-uzbekistan.uz/eng/index.php . Other trade show organizers include IGE Uzbekistan (http://www.ige.uz) and TNT Productions (http://tntexpo.com).

Government Links:

Useful Links:

U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information

Name: J. Larry Wright

Position: Economic Officer

Email: BusinessInUzbekistan@state.gov

Phone: +998-71-140-2111

Best Prospects

Determining current government demands for specialized pharmaceuticals and medical equipment and tailoring approaches accordingly could be of benefit to pharmaceutical and medical technology companies. The websites listed above may prove useful in such endeavors.

Specialized private clinics may offer opportunities for manufacturers of specialized medical technology, such as advanced diagnostic equipment.

Best Prospects

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical Devices
  • Laboratory Equipment


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