Pharmaceutical spending within emerging markets is set to almost double over the next five years, according to a new report published by healthcare analysts at IMS Health.
The report, entitled The Global Use of Medicines: Outlook through 2016, claims that the next five years will see emerging markets increase their spend on medicine from the $194bn (2011) to between $345bn and $375bn by 2016.
The key rise in pharmaceutical spending within emerging markets will be due to generic, rather than branded medicines. Whilst generic medicines are forecast to rise to approximately 65% of the total spend on medicines by 2016, branded products will lose 60% of their market share.
This is likely to be attributable to increasing measures enforced by governments to endorse the production of cheaper generic drugs, in order to increase drug access in emerging markets. India have recently adopted such a strategy, enabling doctors to prescribe generic drugs for free whilst penalising doctors who prescribe branded medicines.
IMS Health says that the rise can be attributed to a combination of a rise in income levels, the increased affordability of medicines and the introduction of national healthcare programmes for patients from poorer backgrounds.
Despite this increase, the annual spend on medicine per capita in developed economies is still expected to be significantly higher than in emerging markets, with an average cost of $609 per person in comparison to $91 per person within emerging markets.
The disparity is higher when comparing unique cases, such as India and the US. The average Indian citizen will only use $33 of medicine per year, whereas the average US citizen can account for $892.
The increase in spending within emerging markets is still likely to be felt worldwide, however. The top five spending nations in Europe, namely France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, will see their share of global pharmaceutical spending fall from 17% to 13%, with slow economic growth within the euro zone also likely to blame.