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Pharma markets in China, Korea, Mexico, Russia & Turkey gather pace

China, Korea, Mexico, Russia and Turkey have outpaced global performance in pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

April 2, 2006

China, Korea, Mexico, Russia and Turkey have outpaced global performance in pharmaceutical and healthcare industries with double-digit growth, signalling important shifts in the marketplace, says an IMS Health report.

As growth in mature markets moderates, industry attention is shifting to smaller, developing markets that are performing exceptionally well. Many of these countries are experiencing significant GDP growth—which helps finance improvements in their healthcare systems, increases patient access, and fuels the double-digit, says the report. 

Pharmaceutical sales in China grew 20.4 percent to $11.7 billion in 2005, representing the third consecutive year that market has achieved 20+ percent growth. IMS estimates that China will be the world’s seventh largest pharmaceutical market by 2009.

In 2005 total global pharmaceutical sales grew 7 percent at constant exchange rates, to $602 billion. In the ten major markets, audited growth was 5.7 percent in 2005, compared with 7.2 percent the previous year. This group accounts for 81 percent of the total global pharmaceutical markets.

Pharmaceutical growth worldwide was driven by increased longevity of populations, rising wealth, innovative new products, and new applications for existing products. Last year, 40 percent of total market growth was fueled by the introduction of new products, including 30 new molecular entities launched in key markets.

Notable product launches in 2005 included Byetta, the first in a new class of medicines for improved blood sugar control in patients with Type 2 diabetes; Lunesta which treats insomnia, decreases sleep latency and improves sleep maintenance; and Macugen which treats neovascular age-related macular degeneration. 

Many promising therapies are now in phase III clinical trials, like Gardasil and Cervarix which promise to be effective vaccines against HPV, the cause of nearly three-quarters of the cases of cervical cancer, which last year contributed to the death of more than a quarter of a million people worldwide. These and other therapies for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes will improve life expectancy and enhance patient quality of life.

In 2005, more than 2,300 products were in clinical development, up 9 percent from 2004 levels, and up 31 percent over the past three years. A promising range of drugs are now in phase III clinical trials or pre-approval stage, including 96 oncology products, 51 products for treating cardiovascular disease, 37 for viral infections and HIV, and 28 for arthritis/pain.

Of the total pipeline, 27 percent of these products are biologic in nature—an all-time high. Biologics also experienced strong growth overall, adding $7.6 billion in sales to the global pharmaceutical market in 2005. Led by Amgen, Roche/Genentech and Johnson and Johnson, this sector grew 17.1 percent in 2005, generating sales of $52.7 billion.

North America, which accounts for 47 percent of global pharmaceutical sales, grew 5.2 percent, to $265.7 billion, while Europe experienced somewhat higher growth of 7.1 percent, to $169.5 billion, in 2005. Sales in Latin America grew an exceptional 18.5 percent to $24 billion, while Asia Pacific (outside of Japan) and Africa grew 11 percent to $46.4 billion. Japan, the world’s second largest market, which has historically posted slower growth rates, performed strongly in 2005, growing 6.8 percent to $60.3 billion, its highest year-over-year growth since 1991. That performance was fueled by growth in angiotensin IIs, antihistamines and oncology therapies, as well as significant uptake in geriatric-related therapies such as Aricept, for treating Alzheimer's, and Cabaser, Permax and Bi Sifrol, for treating Parkinson’s Disease.

The number of blockbuster products (those with sales exceeding the billion-dollar level) reached 94 in 2005 compared with 36 in 2000 and included 17 new members of the billion-dollar club. While six blockbusters are expected to lose their patents in 2006, the launch of new products and continued growth of those already on the market will result in an increasing number of blockbusters over the next five years.

For many pharmaceutical manufacturers, 2005 was a year of transition as they responded to cost containment challenges, regulatory setbacks and safety issues. However, a combination of surging underlying demand driven by aging populations, and successful innovation in areas of high unmet need, will continue to fuel growth. Generics will assume a more central role as patients bear a greater percentage of their healthcare costs and payers seek to restrict the growth of healthcare expenditures. Price moderation for branded drugs is likely as a result. In 2005 sales of generics in the top eight markets (U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K. and Japan) exceeded $55 billion, and are expected to experience double-digit growth over the next five years.

The total pharmaceutical market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 5-8 percent over the next five years. North America and Europe are each projected to grow at a 5-8 percent pace; Asia Pacific/Africa, 9-12 percent; Latin America, 7-10 percent; and Japan, 3-6 percent, IMS forecasts.

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