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BMI View: The Oman Ministry of Health's decision to postpone the latest phase of medicine price
reductions highlights the opaque nature of the country's pharmaceutical sector. Over the long term, Oman's
population will benefit from more affordable healthcare services as even more medicines are reduced in
price, however the impact on drugmaker's profit margins will continue to come under question.
Nonetheless, Oman's evolving demographic and epidemiological profile will act as key drivers of growth
within the country's pharmaceuticals and healthcare markets over the coming years, supported by an
expanding private sector and the government's ongoing commitment to advancing healthcare.
Headline Expenditure Projections
? Pharmaceuticals: OMR242mn (USD628mn) in 2015 to OMR257mn (USD668mn) in 2016; 6.2% in
local currency and US dollar terms. Forecast in line with Q316.
Healthcare: OMR1.15bn (USD3.00bn) in 2015 to OMR1.21bn (USD3.15bn) in 2016; +4.9% in local
currency and US dollar terms. Forecast in line with Q316.
In our Q416 Pharmaceutical Risk/Reward Index (RRI) Oman's score of 47.6 out of 100 matches its score
last quarter, yet moves down one position to 11th place out of 31 countries analysed in the whole Middle
East and Africa (MEA) region. Regionally, Oman ranks relatively poorly compared to the other Gulf States
- only Iraq is positioned lower. Oman has limited longer-term commercial potential due to its small
population, low per capita spending on pharmaceuticals and the fact that the government is responsible for
the bulk of healthcare costs, which will increase the need for cost containment in the coming years.