BMI View: Malaysia 's pharmaceutical and healthcare markets are set to grow significantly. The promising long-term economic growth, government support, increasing ly ageing population and growing non-communicable chronic disease burden will to drive sector growth. However, the country's slower economic growth in 2014, coupled with the fact that investment in the pharmaceuticals sector will take longer than expected to bring returns, are downside risks to our outlook .
The potential of the Malaysian healthcare sector to significantly contribute to the country's economy is a major reason why healthcare has been selected as a National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and forms part of Malaysia's overall Economic Transformation Programme. This NKEA seeks to expand the healthcare industry by increasing private investments in areas such as manufacturing pharmaceutical products and medical devices, clinical research and elderly care services, and to foster collaboration between healthcare providers in the private and public sectors.
In addition to expanding and upgrading its hospital network and building clinics the government is continuing to establish biotech hubs, which take advantage of Malaysia's abundance of biodiversity and natural resources, and are expected to generate new jobs and attract foreign investment.
Multinationals will continue to prosper in Malaysia, especially those producing medicines for chronic non-communicable diseases (cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes) which are increasingly prevalent in Malaysia. In 2013, the MOH announced that chronic non-communicable diseases were the largest cause of hospital admission, mortality, and premature death in Malaysia. Mortality due to chronic non-communicable diseases is projected to grow almost 20% over the next 10 years. The government forecasts that there will be 4.6mn Malaysians over the age of 18 suffering from diabetes by 2020,...