China leads pack of burgeoning emergent pharma markets

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Of the competitive dynamics of 24 different emergent pharmaceutical markets, China has the largest healthcare spending of all emerging Asian economies, totaling $74.2 billion in 2003, according to a new report by Piribo, which supplies business information on the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

The report, “Emerging Pharmaceutical Markets-Growth Opportunities, Changing Healthcare Dynamics And Regulatory Trends,” found that the growth of emerging pharmaceutical markets remains impressively buoyant, having attained a 14.7 percent value increase over the 2005-06 period, a substantially greater rate than those witnessed within the developed markets of the European Union and the United States.

The emerging pharma markets experienced a relatively strong CAGR of 16 percent between 2002-06, compared to the EU or U.S. equivalents of 12.9 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively, the authors said. Catalysts for the growth include increased access to medicines, expanded healthcare formulatory listings and the availability of cheaper generics.

The average percentage of GDP spent on healthcare in the combined emergent markets was 5.9 percent, or $18.1 billion in 2004, as compared to 9.2 percent, or $919.3 million, for the EU during the same period.

After China, Korea and India are the next largest markets, with $41.1 billion and $27.7 billion, respectively.

The report highlighted that Latin America offers significant sales potential for ACE inhibitors and analgesics, because of a high frequency of cardiovascular disorders across the region. Hypercholesterolemia, Latin America's most common cardiovascular risk factor, had an estimated prevalence rate of 32 percent in 2004, and is forecast to rise to 34.6 percent by 2010.

The five main therapeutic areas within emergent markets constituted 66.7 percent of total sales, or $49.6 billion, in 2006, with alimentary, metabolic and anti-infective products leading the market, according to the researchers. Systemic antibiotics and antacids continued to dominate growth.

Analysts pointed out in the report that although emergent markets contain sizeable patient populations, significant barriers to entry continue to exist. For Western players, successful entry depends upon a comprehensive understanding of market dynamics, including differentiated growth prospects, sociopolitical structures and local market environments.