The state has considerable influence on the medical services sector in Latvia. All of the primary hospitals and rehabilitation centers are state-owned and receive centralized financing from the state budget. Therefore, a large part of drug and pharmaceutical procurement passes through state-organized tenders. However, the retail and wholesale market for pharmaceuticals is left to private businesses.
Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania have signed the Joint Baltic Drug Procurement Agreement. Some prescribed drugs, such as those used for diabetes, HIV, and TB, are subsidized by the state, and Latvian authorities have indicated that fighting tuberculosis, tick-borne encephalitis, and HIV are key priorities. However, U.S. pharmaceutical companies have indicated that there is insufficient funding for innovative medicines.
A pharmaceuticals company could enter the market either by opening a branch office in Latvia or by approaching a Latvian wholesale company that already has an established brand name and base of clients.
All drugs sold in Latvia must be certified by the State Drugs Agency before entering the market. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certification is not enough to sell drugs in Latvia, although FDA results will be helpful in the certification process.
There are excellent opportunities for both innovative and generic drugs.
Please note the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union dedicated to European public procurement and the Latvian Export and Import Directory.
Latvia places emphasis on public health and disease prevention schemes. As such, there are numerous opportunities in vaccines and medicines for TB, tick-borne encephalitis, diabetes, HIV, flu, and other diseases.
Latvian pharmaceutical companies have announced plans to establish vaccine manufacturing in Latvia: https://www.liaa.gov.lv/en/article/european-commissioner-arrives-riga-discuss-producing-covid-19-vaccines-latvia
- The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Latvia
- State Agency of Medicines of Latvia
- Latvian Investment and Development Agency
- Latvian Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnological Industry overview