South Korean Pharmaceutical Market
How will the EU-Korea FTA affect the South Korean pharmaceutical market?
The EU-Korea FTA is expected to create better access for EU pharmaceutical exporters, improve the regulatory environment and strengthen drug pricing transparency.
EU pharmaceutical exporters are set to benefit from the implementation of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which came into effect on 1st July 2011. The EU-Korea FTA will provide EU companies with better access to the South Korean pharmaceutical market by paving the way for elimination of tariffs on EU pharmaceutical exports to South Korea. The volume and value of EU pharmaceutical exports are expected to increase with the implementation of EU-Korea FTA, posing a potential threat to US pharmaceutical exporters.
The vast majority of South Korean tariffs on imports of pharmaceuticals from EU states will be phased out immediately from 1st July 2011, with the rest being phased out within three years. The EU-Korea FTA also stipulates that South Korean authorities will be required to align their practices with international standards through an improved regulatory environment. In particular, the EU-Korea FTA will aim to ensure the strengthening of transparency in drug pricing decisions, as there have been concerns about the lack of transparency in the South Korean health authorities’ price setting.
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