Consumer health experienced growth across the board in 2022, although categories that saw strong growth spikes during the height of the pandemic in 2020, such as immunity boosting vitamins and dietary supplements witnessed some slowdown thanks to the rollout of vaccines. While consumers are maintaining a focus on preventative care, global supply chain issues are causing prices to rise, at a time when consumers are only just recovering from the economic effects of the pandemic.
As the country continued its process of reopening and shutdowns subsided following a successful vaccination rollout against COVID-19, consumer health saw steady growth over the review period. While the boom observed in 2020 and part of 2021 for some categories, such as vitamins and dietary supplements has passed, retail value sales remain above pre-pandemic levels across consumer health.
Consumer health is being taken more seriously since the pandemic as Panamanians are increasingly adopting more preventive measures to protect their health. Although the habit of taking vitamins and dietary supplements had already started among some consumers in the country, this was limited to higher socioeconomic groups and those with more financial resources.
More public health initiatives that focus on prevention were seen over the review period. For example, a programme started under the First Lady (Despacho de la primera dama), known as Health on Wheels (Salud sobre ruedas) featured mobility clinics (clínicas móviles) that are set up and travel to different areas.
There is a sound road infrastructure in Panama, with the logistics network supporting the distribution of goods. Due to its strategic location, Panama serves as a distribution hub for North and Latin America.
In May 2022, the Executive Decree that allows for the purchase due to critical shortages of medicines or pharmaceutical products was signed. In addition, the technical working group formed to solve the shortage of medicines, led by the Vice President of the Republic and Minister of the Presidency, also recommended that Panama join the Regional Medicines Observatory, through the United Nations Office, which will allow negotiating the prices of medicines.
Vitamins and dietary supplements are not heavily regulated in Panama as they are not considered to be products that present any potential danger to human health. The only statutory requirement is that they must be submitted to the PPDA for approval before being distributed for retail sale and thereafter included in the sanitary product registry.
The market for consumer health products in Panama is expected to see steady growth over the forecast period. For some categories, such as vitamins and dietary supplements, growth rates had already returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
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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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