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Big Pharma is looking east

The global pharmaceutical market is changing. At present rates of growth China will overtake Spain to become the world's seventh biggest drugs market within just two years.

At 16%, estimated annual growth in China is double that of the UK (8%) and four-times that of Europe's biggest consumers of drugs, France 4%). It's even growing at more than three times the rate of the biggest drugs market, the USA (5%).

The slices of the $685,000,000,000 global pharmaceutical cake are changing shape. As the diseases of westernisation such as diabetes and cancer become globalised along with the economy, China is not the only developing country that is seeing its people's demand for drugs increase — Turkey is also growing by 16% a year, India by 10%, Brazil by 8%.

More drug patents than ever before in terms of value expired in 2006 — an estimated $23,000,000,000 worth. Analysts say that the drugs companies are being squeezed in their traditional markets by the growth of generic drugs and by regulation. Research is also moving into the developing world — 40% of GlaxoSmithKline's clinical trials took place in so-called lower-cost countries. GSK are expected to join Roche, Pfizer, Johnson and Johson and Novartis in opening a research centre in China. No wonder: in just five years Novo Nordisk, a European drugs company specialising in the treatment of diabetes, has seen sales in China rocket to €134,000,000 -3% of its total.

Source: Enjeux

Page created on April 10th, 2007

Page updated on December 1st, 2009