PharmExec Blog

Is There Potential for Growth in Brazil’s Phytotherapic Drug Market?

It is well known that Brazil has an immense biodiversity and that the Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest in the world. Traditional Brazilian medicines include African elements, rooted on indigenous groups. Few pharmaceutical companies, however, know at what level phytotherapic drugs are commercialized in the country, how much regulation is imposed for herbal medicines, and if there are any opportunities in this unspoken, mysterious market in Brazil.

Dozens of studies link Brazil’s herbal medicines to successful treatments and cures of various ailments. According to Japanese scientists, there is strong anticancer activity in certain Brazilian traditional medicines (e.g., basic and applied studies for physiological activities of Brazilian traditional medicine). Another study analyzed antifungal properties of plants used in Brazilian traditional medicine against clinically relevant fungal pathogens. One more study made a comparison between ethnopharmacology in traditional Chinese medicine and Brazilian popular phytotherapy.

One would suppose that due to the potential of the market, there would be dozens of companies investing in the sector. This potential, however, is not translating into market growth, according to industry sources.

So why is the herbal drugs market in Brazil almost completely undiscovered and profoundly undeveloped? Is there any real potential for new or existing companies to enter this market?

Hellen Berger addresses these questions and more in this Pharmaceutical Technology article.


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