By Dr. Jérôme Freissmuth
The pharmaceutical industry will continue to witness major changes and challenges. Considering global economic uncertainties, increasing healthcare costs and expiring patents, the industry appears to be in a state of turmoil. At the same time, markets are diversifying and new fields of growth are opening up. Rapid development of the emerging markets, progress in drug research, the rise in generics production, the availability of high-potency drugs and innovations in manufacturing processes will sustainably modify the global pharmaceutical landscape.
According to a recent survey, global annual spending on pharmaceuticals is set to reach almost $1.2 trillion U.S. dollars in 2016. The so-called “pharmerging” markets account for more than two-thirds of the world population. Doubling their spending on pharmaceuticals over the next five years, these markets will reach 30% of global expenses by 2016, as population growth and rising incomes contribute to the dramatically higher use of medicines. Improved access to drugs is supported by a broad range of governmental healthcare policies and programs. Due to increasing cost pressure and increased local demand, production is being relocated to the emerging markets. In many cases, this also applies to the production of generics. While the share of the industrialized nations in global pharmaceutical expenditure will continue to decline, spending on generics will increase due to expiring patents accompanied by higher generic use for off-patent molecules