US Holds Top Position for Pharma Expansion

Pharma IQ

Demand planning in challenging market conditions is difficult and, unless by extreme coincidence, forecasts can never be 100 per cent accurate.

So how can we ensure that projected figures are as close to reality as possible – no matter how turbulent the global outlook?

Luckily there is plenty of expertise in the field, which can help pharmaceutical firms tighten their grip on the future and reduce risk by carefully managing the complexities of global demand planning.

A recent RNCOS report, entitled Global Pharmaceutical Market Forecast 2012, reveals that the pharma industry worldwide – after witnessing a two-year slump – is now in its recovery period, which will surely be followed by growth.

Demand suffered at the hands of the global economic slowdown, with declines further aggravated by patent expiry of several major blockbusters and saturation in a number of key pharma markets – the US and Europe being obvious examples.

However, the global market is now showing clear signs of picking up where it left off, with opportunities for pharma expansion being seen everywhere.

While the US holds onto its top position, the European Union and Japanese market are not too far behind. However, the extent to which Japan's operations have been impacted by the recent earthquake and tsunami remains to be seen.

It is expected that much of the pharmaceutical industry's future growth will be propelled by the world's emerging markets, particularly in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Many of these regions' countries have enjoyed robust growth rates in the recent past, on account of increasing prevalence of certain diseases, rising consumer expenditure and improved affordability of medicine. Overall, experts anticipate strong growth potential in these markets over the coming few years.

RNCOS projected that the global pharma market would grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 6.5 per cent over the next two years. And despite facing distinct challenges of its own, the pharmaceutical market in the world's developing nations is expanding rapidly.

Analysts attribute this to the largely untapped potential of countries like India, China, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, Poland and Vietnam.

With many such nations eager to reform their control of drug counterfeiting and trade channels, pharma giants are keen to expand further into these parts of the world.

As part of their emerging market growth strategies, the biggest pharmaceutical companies are looking at local firms for acquisition or merger opportunities.

The RNCOS report has identified North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa as the most important regions to be considered in pharma companies' demand planning. Firms therefore need to maintain a thoroughly global outlook.

No business can guarantee the long-term prosperity of their international markets. It is therefore essential that pharma firms are equipped with the demand planning expertise to effectively forecast on a global scale.

This involves knowing how to successfully navigate sudden environmental changes which can challenge production. The time has come for firms to stop relying on luck and regain control of their future in pharmaceuticals.