World’s Top Pharmaceutical Markets Expect Further Growth

The global pharmaceutical industry has enjoyed continuous growth over the last few decades, mainly attributed to increasing pharmaceutical sales from some of the world’s top pharmaceutical markets, namely the US, China, Japan, and several leading economies in the EU. It is expected that these leading markets will remain the backbone of the global pharmaceutical industry and continue to drive the global market with further growth.


Pharmaceutical sales by country


According to a recent report from the QuintilesIMS Institute, total pharmaceutical sales across the globe was estimated around US$1.37 trillion in 2016, and this figure is expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2021 on an invoice price basis. Most of the sales growth in the global pharmaceutical market, particularly in world’s top pharmaceutical markets, is forecast to be driven by the increasing treatment demand for oncology, autoimmune diseases and diabetes. The US, China, Japan, and leading economies in the EU will continue to be the leader of the global pharmaceutical market over the next five years.


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Currently, the US is the world’s largest pharmaceutical market, registering a growth rate of 6.9% over the past five years and expected to grow by 6–9% over the next five years. The growth of the pharmaceutical industry in the US is expected to be driven by original brands with new medicines. The report also suggests that the share of new medicines for global sales will continue to rise from less than 20% ten years ago to 30% in 2016, and to 35% by 2021, approaching half of total spending in the US.


The state of China’s pharmaceutical industry in 2017


As the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market, but with the fastest growth rate, China has broadly kept pace with the US. China has overtaken Japan since 2012 to become the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market. Over the recent years, China continued to grow at double-digit growth rates until 2015 when it slowed to 5.6% following a series of price cuts. China is expected to grow at a more modest 5–8% rate to 2021 when it’s pharmaceutical sales will reach US$140–170 billion, mainly driven by the rapid urbanization and soaring population.


The future of the world’s top pharmaceutical markets


Apart from the US and China, the world’s top pharmaceutical markets also include Japan, Germany, Italy, U.K., France, Spain, Canada, South Korea and Australia. Japan and France are projected to have a slightly slower growth rate over the next few years, due to significant government focus on the price, associated volumes and overall spending of innovative medicines. It is expected that the top 10 world’s largest pharmaceutical markets will grow on average by 4–7% over the next four years, and represent 67% of global pharmaceutical sales in 2021, that share down projecting to be slightly from 68% in 2016. What do you think the future of the world’s top pharmaceutical market will look like?


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