top of page

Dongwha Pharm enters Vietnam to become a major competitor in the pharmaceutical retail industry

Recently, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Korea, Dongwha Pharm, announced the signing of an agreement to purchase 51% of the shares of the Trung Son pharmacy in Vietnam. This Korean group spent more than 30 million USD to purchase 12.15 million shares of Trung Son Pharma. The transaction is expected to be completed by October 2023.

Dongwha Pharm is the first pharmaceutical company established in Korea in 1987. They specialize in the development, manufacture, and distribution of solid drug formulations, sterile injections, prescription and non-prescription drugs, menus, dietary supplements, health care products, and cosmetics.

According to the Korea stock exchange, Dongwha Pharm's revenue in recent years is only about 260,000 USD. This is a relatively small number compared to the pharmaceutical retail chains operating in Vietnam. With this revenue, Dongwha's direct entry into the Vietnamese market doesn't make much impact on other retails.

However, Dongwha has chosen to enter the Vietnamese market through Trung Son Pharma, a pharmacy retail that is not too large in scale but has a lot of potential for growth in the market. The cooperation between these two companies will be able to create a highly competitive position with the "big players" in the pharmaceutical retail industry in the future.

Established in 1997, Trung Son Pharma is the largest old pharmacy in the South, with more than 140 stores. Drugstores of Trung Son Pharma are mainly concentrated in Can Tho, An Giang, and Ca Mau, and they have two branches in Ho Chi Minh City.

Through cooperation with Trung Son, Dongwha Pharm wants to increase its pharmaceutical market share in Vietnam, focusing on over-the-counter drugs such as Whal Myung Su, Each Paste, and Pancold. Additionally, with the increasing demand for functional food products, vitamins, red ginseng, and beauty products, Dongwha plans to increase the presence of its products in the pharmacies in Vietnam. This acquisition is an important step towards Dongwha's strategic expansion into the pharmaceutical and beauty markets in Southeast Asia.

Dongwha Pharm invests in Trung Son Pharma. This pharmaceutical retailer has the ambition to develop their store chain to 460 stores by 2026, tripling the current figure. Not only developing in the western provinces, Trung Son Pharma intends to enter the market of big cities, determined to compete with the "big players" in the industry.

As noted, Trung Son Pharma currently provides a wide range of drugs, both prescription and non-prescription, health food supplements, cosmetics, medical equipment, health care products, and beauty (H&B) products, with a catalog of up to 2,750 items. Additionally, Trung Son Pharma owns a Trung Son Cosmetic beauty salon, a cosmetics center, and an e-commerce site,

According to industry reports, in the past three years, Trung Son pharma has had a very strong development. The revenue of this pharmacy has been growing at a stable rate. The average growth rate of this pharmaceutical retailer has reached 46% since 2019. In 2022, Trung Son Pharma recorded a revenue of VND 1,367 billion.

Average per year, one store brings in 9.6 billion VND in revenue for the entire chain. With this number, plus the cooperation with Dongwha, large drug stores such as Long Chau, An Khang, and Pharmarcity have to be wary of this competitor.

Although its competitors are suffering losses in their attempts to compete for market share, Trung Son Pharma is still growing steadily and has a very good profit. In recent years, the profit of Trung Son Pharmaceutical's retail chain has always been positive. In 2022, this chain of stores recorded a profit after tax of VND 3.2 billion.

Although there are not as many stores on the market as other competitors, revenue and profit has achieved that will enable them to create a competitive edge in the Vietnamese market. Dongwha Pharm has chosen to invest in Trung Son to prove potential that can be exploited by this pharmaceutical retail. In the future, this will be a formidable opponent of the "big players" in the pharmaceutical retail industry in Vietnam.

In fact, Vietnam's pharmaceutical industry is a place for attracting foreign investors. Before Dongwha Pharm, SK Group - Korea's second largest corporation - poured capital into two pharmaceutical companies in Vietnam, Pharmacity and Imexpharm. Promising to create an extremely competitive market in the pharmaceutical retail industry in Vietnam.


bottom of page