There was a time when the EU5 nations (Spain, UK, Italy, France, and Germany) were regarded as the hot spots by pharma majors. But as the developing countries increased investments in the healthcare sector, pharma manufacturers see immense potential in these markets as well. The interest in the emerging markets was further grown by the fact that governments here have increased the investments in healthcare infrastructure and insurance. The BRIC nations along with Mexico and Turkey are the major markets which most pharma companies are focusing on.
Developing Economies – What makes them the hotbeds for pharma players?
The fact that over the past few years the developed countries have experienced a consistent decrease in the funding for healthcare, forced many manufacturers in the pharma industry to expand their market base. Developing economies already have a huge set of health-related maladies which are either underdiagnosed or undertreated. This situation gives a lot of scope for growth and expansion to the big names in the pharma industry.
Also with growth in purchasing power, the shift of population to the urban areas, and high prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer, the developing economies provide huge opportunities to global pharma companies. All these factors have worked together to convert the developing economies into the hotbed for pharma players.
From land of opportunities to a pharma challenge
As the hype surrounding the developing nations being the next ‘BIG’ thing in the pharma industry has subsided, industry experts realize that the developing nations have their own set of inherent challenges. Unlike the developed countries, where pricing and meeting the local demands were the major game changers – the emerging markets pose challenges at multiple levels.
Apart from market access and addressing the local diseases, pharma companies must also comply with the regional regulations, focus on pricing and reimbursements, and most importantly battle out the infrastructure issues. The situation becomes even more challenging for Western pharma companies as they lack the local client base and understanding of the drugs which suit the local demographic’s profile. The absence of local data is another significant barrier that the pharma industry is yet to overcome.
Infiniti’s take on turning challenge into opportunity
To make an impact in the emerging markets, it is crucial that local authorities, pharma companies, and other stakeholders in the industry be considered. Research has already shown that different population groups respond differently to the same drug. Therefore, good amount of research is required before launching a drug in these markets.
However, challenging the situation seems, local expertise backed with a global perspective is sure to give an edge to the players in the emerging markets.