Competition Policies and Consumer Welfare
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Competition Policies and Consumer Welfare

Edited by Lahcen Achy and Susan Joekes

The fundamental goal of competition law is to support productivity and innovativeness; in fact, the short-term effect of enforcement actions is often a reduction in product prices. This book reports the findings of consumer market studies into a range of goods and services in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It finds a pervasive lack of competition in those markets, which not only reduces the standard of living of consumers, including poor and vulnerable groups, but also softens the incentives on firms to improve the efficiency of their operations and the quality of their products
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Chapter 7: The pharmaceuticals sector in Vietnam

Que Anh Pham and Tran Phuong Lan


The objective of healthcare policy regarding medicines is to guarantee the supply of safe and effective products at a reasonable price, and ensure that patients have access to and can afford them. Access to healthcare, in its broader sense, is one of the most basic needs, an inviolable right of every human as acknowledged by the Constitution of Vietnam. Despite constitutional commitment, the achievement of this objective tends to be constrained by a number of factors that range from poverty and unaffordable market prices, absence of or non-binding regulation on price mark-ups, abuse of intellectual property rights, lack of an effective generic substitution policy, excessive reliance on out-of-pocket payments for health expenses and shortage of public information. Competition policy represents a key tool, in addition to other legal provisions and institutional mechanisms, to secure access to medicines for the population and achieve healthcare policy’s objectives. Indeed, by promoting fair and free competition and preventing anticompetitive practices, competition policy can contribute significantly to protect patients’ interests and improve their social welfare.

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