Emerging economies including Brazil, Russia, India, China, Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey pose a threat to the dominance of the US in the global generics market, according to a survey by GBI Research.

Titled 'The Future of Generic Drugs and Strategies for Commercial Success', the survey report predicts that the US will gradually lose its position as the biggest generic drugs market by global revenue with emerging economies such as India, China and Brazil taking a bigger pie of the market.

The survey was conducted on 47 industry experts in generic drugs and found that 29% believed China would become the biggest emerging market for generics by revenue in the next five years, while 23% felt that India would lead.

Emerging markets have substantially driven the growth of generics despite the US being a dominant geography, says Deekshita Allavarapu, Analyst for GBI Research, who cites the example of India, where a number of pharmaceutical companies have exhibited advanced technological capabilities coupled with cost advantages in manufacturing.

"In countries such as China, obesity and diabetes are on the rise and disposable incomes are increasing through the expansion of the middle classes."

Deekshita further explains: “Despite emerging economies having relatively lower healthcare spending than developed economies, their healthcare costs are expected to significantly rise in the near future, driven by the adoption or expansion of universal healthcare and a growing incidence of lifestyle diseases.

“In countries such as China, obesity and diabetes are on the rise and disposable incomes are increasing through the expansion of the middle classes.

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"In this way, the adoption of generic drugs is very likely to be seen as a strategy to control costs, given the potential savings these types of drugs can represent.”

GBI Research foresees a higher adoption of generic drugs in emerging economies as a result of their efforts to reduce healthcare costs. Generic drug makers have already been aggressively targeting these countries, the report adds.