Global drug revenue growth biased towards emerging markets

Chinese medicine Global revenue from prescription drugs will reach $1.2bn by 2017, a new report has said – but most of the growth is in ‘phamerging’ nations such as China, India and Brazil.

The major growth markets are countries where average income is low, but economic growth, better healthcare access and the emergence of a middle class is driving up medical spending as a proportion of GDP.

In developed markets such as the EU, the US and Japan, however, austerity policies and generic/biosimilar erosion will continue to restrict spending on branded drugs.

The new report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, a healthcare industry consulting group, predicted that global spending on prescription medicines would reach $1.2 trillion (£0.7 trillion; €0.9 trillion) by 2017 – a 20% increase from 2012.

However, it said, the same five-year period would see a CAGR of only 1–4% in developed markets, compared with 10–13% in ‘pharmerging’ countries 0150 which have a per capita GDP of less than $25,000 but will see more than $1bn growth in spending on prescription medicines over 2013-17.

Growth in prescription drug spending is likely to be slow in several EU countries, the report said, with only 0–3% CAGR in 2013–17, due to the ongoing economic crisis, austerity measures, brakes on innovation and generic erosion.

Over the same period, China’s pharmaceutical market is expected to show a CAGR of 14–17% CAGR, the report says, driven by economic growth, wider health insurance coverage and improving services.

Spending on generics will increase globally from 27% to 36% of all drug spending, and they will make up 63% of the overall drug spend in ‘pharmerging’ markets.

The report predicted growth in specialised medicine areas such as oncology and rare diseases. It noted that drug pipelines were focused on “the disease profile of patients in high-income countries”, but a number of the most “burdensome” diseases affecting poor countries, such as malaria, sepsis and TB, had “few new treatment options”.