Vietnam opens drug market to foreign pharma producers

A new free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Union grants foreign pharmaceutical companies the right to import drugs to this fast-growing Southeast Asian nation. Under the terms of the pact signed several months ago, foreign pharmaceutical companies designated as foreign investment enterprises under Vietnamese law will be able to import their drug products directly to the country, rather than through the auspices of a Vietnamese partner. The change is designed to provide Vietnamese consumers with greater access to innovative drug treatments and therapies. But it is also expected to ramp up competition and may make it tough going for domestic pharmaceutical firms.