Innovation and technology key factors for pharmaceutical sector in emerging markets

Innovation and technology will be important differentiators as pharma companies try to drive growth in emerging markets that face rapid growth of various chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer, according to a report.

Emerging markets are predicted to account for a third of global pharmaceutical spend by the end of next year and seen as critical for the sustained growth of leading pharma companies, the report by Cambridge Consultants said. Innovation and technology are key to growth for pharma companies in emerging markets, the report said.

"Emerging markets are facing rapid growth of chronic 'Western' diseases like diabetes, hypertension, chronic respiratory problems, cancer, heart disease and neurological disorders," Cambridge Consultants India general manager Ambuj Jain said. "In some cases, conditions like diabetes are turning into near-epidemic situations. In India, for example, the prevalence of diabetes and cancer is projected to rise by 25-40 percent over the next 10 years," the report said.

This shift gives pharma companies an opportunity to market their global products in emerging markets, backed by tested 'go-to-market' strategies and operating models. The report said key barriers which need to be addressed in many emerging markets are the affordability and accessibility of medicines. Improvements in affordability will be driven by rising disposable incomes and increasing insurance coverage, according to PTI.

Growth in accessibility will come from increases in government spending and medical infrastructure, and new business models for rural areas, it said. The acceptability of medicines is also expected to rise, as a result of the growth in chronic conditions and the resulting increase in the self-administration of drugs.

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