In 2023, health sensitivities among consumers in Laos, due to local diet and weather, have led to increased demand for consumer health products. Likewise, the prevalence of self-medication persists due to limited hospital access, leading consumers to rely on pharmacies where they can easily obtain a variety of remedies.
In April 2023, WHO in Laos marked World Health Day in Vientiane Capital, involving officials from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, and WHO, along with international community and health sector representatives. Over 60 years, WHO's work in Laos has been supported by various governments, health agencies, foundations, and private sector partners.
Laos’s public health service system is weak, relying on technical assistance and financial resources from international organisations such as WHO. Government officials, including doctors, nurses, and administrative employees, are paid by the Ministry of Health, which is a considerable amount of the state budget to support their salaries.
Laos' healthcare system has seen significant improvements over the last 20 years but it is still developing and is impacted by limited budgets and weaknesses in health records, infrastructure and management. The government operates a number of health insurance programmes for specific groups.
Urban roads and those connecting urban areas are generally good, with few challenges to the urban distribution of consumer health products. However, in rainy seasons there may be difficulties using roads linking Vientiane with provincial cities in some areas.
The registration procedure for medicines was defined in the Law on Drugs and Medical Products (2012). The Bureau of Food and Drug Inspection was further established in 2014 to monitor and inspect the quality of medicines supplied in Laos, with this conducting random checks on chemists/pharmacies to monitor quality and safety and to ensure that outlets are selling only registered products.
Vitamins and dietary supplements must be registered with the Food and Drug Department (FDD) of the Ministry of Health, although there remains no clear classification for these products. Registration is generally permitted based on registration in the country of origin, especially in terms of strength of dosage.
Demand for consumer health will continue over the forecast period as more individuals prioritise their health. Practical research indicates that a diverse array of vitamins is readily available in pharmacies, supermarkets, and beauty stores.
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It is the aggregation of OTC, Vitamins and Dietary Supplements (VDS), Sports Nutrition, and Weight Management and WellbeingSee All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health research and analysis database.
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