November 2013

Thailand: Market Access Tracker - 2013

Report Authors
Jonathan Chan, M.MedSc.
Neil Grubert, M.A.
Michael Latwis, M.B.A.
Gilan Megeed, M.P.H.
Nikhil Mehta, M.Eng.
Andreia Ribeiro, Ph.D.
Michael Yeung, M.Sc.


Last Updated 27 November 2013
Thailand has one of the most developed healthcare systems in Southeast Asia. Since the implementation of universal health coverage in 2001, the population has benefited from a significant improvement in health outcomes, such as longer life expectancy and greater survival rates for children. The build out of an extensive network of hospitals and health clinics has also enabled nationwide access to healthcare services.  Thailand has been an attractive destination for multinational pharmaceutical companies looking to establish a stronger presence in ASEAN region.  Unfortunately, the country’s intellectual property protection laws are very lax, and the government is seeking to implement greater cost-cutting measures in the future, due to the rising cost of providing healthcare to its aging population.


Socioeconomic trends: Gross domestic product (GDP), nominal per capita gross national income (GNI).

Demographics: Overall population (projected to 2030); life expectancy at birth (projected to 2030); median age and number of senior citizens (projected to 2030); urban population (projected to 2030).

Healthcare system: Healthcare spending; public sector administrative framework, funding, and providers.

Regulatory affairs: Registration process for new drugs.

Intellectual property protection: Patent and data protection; compulsory licensing; counterfeit drugs.

Health technology assessment: Roles and responsibilities of the Health Systems Research Institute, the International Health Policy Program, and the Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program.

Pricing and reimbursement: Selection for pricing and reimbursement under three public health schemes; role of Thai Food and Drug Administration.

Cost containment: Price ceilings under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM); measures to promote the use of generics.

Commercialization Outlook for the pharmaceutical industry: Relatively friendly commercial environment for foreign drug manufacturers; heavy reliance on imported medicines due to lack of local drug manufacturers; universal healthcare coverage and full reimbursement of essential drugs; widespread availability of counterfeit drugs; weak intellectual property protection; established HTA framework; government focus on implementing more stringent cost-cutting measures with rising cost of healthcare.

Exhibits: 21 data-rich tables and figures.

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Mentioned in this report:

  • Organizations:
  • - Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  • - Central Commission on Price of Goods and Services
  • - Comptroller General’s Department
  • - Department of Intellectual Property
  • - Health systems Research Institute
  • - International Health Policy Program
  • - IMS Health
  • - International Monetary Fund
  • - Ministry of Public Health (MOPH)
  • - National Health Security Board
  • - Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
  • - Thailand Food and Drug Administration (TFDA)
  • - United Nations Population Division
  • - United States Trade Representative
  • - World Bank
  • - World Health Organization
  • - World Trade Organization
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