Armenia’s pharmaceutical industry has blossomed over the past decade into one of the country’s most dynamic sectors of the economy. Currently there are 17 pharmaceutical companies that have a license to produce drugs in Armenia. Most of them are small and medium-sized companies with a varying number of employees ranging from 30 to 100 (Global SPC report, 2010).  They are all specialized in the production of generic drugs and buy most of their raw materials and chemical compounds from the European Union and the United States. The key foreign market for Armenian companies is the Commonwealth of Independent States and within those states the Central Asian countries – Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan.

Armenian companies also compete successfully in the neighboring Georgian market. These market links have a strong historical basis and continue due to the common use of the Russian language and the free trade regime among CIS countries (www.customs.am).

The industry is supported by the Scientific Center of Drug and Medical Technology Expertise, an internationally recognized center with state-of-the-art laboratory equipment that tests both inputs and outputs of the pharmaceuticals industry. The presence of strong technical capacity in the country is a key advantage for the industry. The enforcement of internationally-accepted Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards, the adoption of which is currently in process, will further support quality assurance and reduce the risk of substandard products entering the market.

The USAID/EDMC Project focuses its efforts in assisting Armenian pharmaceutical companies to further enhance their operations to meet GMP standards, expand existing markets, and penetrate additional export markets. Specifically, USAID/EDMC supports Armenian companies to effectively promote their products in international markets and strengthen their ties with industry colleagues abroad. Further support is provided to companies to enhance their competitiveness and product quality by fostering GMP compliance as well as improve their knowledge of international standards, including European Union directives and World Health Organization guidelines. To encourage enhanced sector-wide competitiveness EDMC has also analyzed and recommended relevant changes to the draft law on pharmaceuticals.