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Pharmaceutical companies are big businesses. In fact, they’re some of the biggest businesses in the world. And with good reason: They hold the keys to developing new life-saving and life-changing drugs. The global pharmaceutical market is expected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2030. And with such a large and growing industry, there is much opportunity for those looking to get involved.

Pharmaceutical industry overview

The pharmaceutical industry plays a vital role in the U.S. economy, accounting for more than $1 trillion in annual economic activity and supporting nearly 4 million jobs across the country. The industry's success is driven by a number of factors, including strong basic research capabilities, a skilled workforce, and a regulatory environment that encourages innovation.

Over the past decade, the pharmaceutical industry has undergone significant changes, including consolidation among large firms and increased pressure from payers and regulators to control costs. These trends are likely to continue in the coming years. As the industry adapts to these changes, it will be important for companies to focus on developing innovative new medicines that address unmet medical needs and deliver value to patients and society.

The top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world

The top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world are Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Novartis, Roche, Sanofi, Merck & Co., GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott Laboratories, Amgen, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. These companies hold a significant share in the global pharmaceutical market owing to their strong product portfolios and extensive geographical reach.

Johnson & Johnson is one of the largest healthcare companies in the world and is engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of a wide range of consumer healthcare products, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals. The company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes prescription medicines and vaccines for various therapeutic areas such as immunology, infectious diseases, neuroscience, oncology, cardiology/vascular disease etc. Some of its key products are Remicade (immune system disorder), Concerta (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), Zytiga (prostate cancer), Stelara (psoriasis), Edurant (HIV infection) etc.

Pfizer is one of the leading research-based global biopharmaceutical companies with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines across several therapeutic areas. It offers a wide range of products for various therapeutic areas such as inflammation and immunology, vaccines, oncology, cardiology/metabolic, virology etc. Some of its key products are Enbrel (rheumatoid arthritis), Prevnar 13 (pneumococcal disease), Lyrica (neuropathic pain), Sutent (kidney cancer), Ibrance (breast cancer) etc.

Novartis is a leading global healthcare company engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of a wide range of healthcare products. The company’s product portfolio includes pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medicines, and consumer health products. Its key products are Cosentyx (psoriasis), Entresto (heart failure), Gilenya (multiple sclerosis), Sandostatin LAR Depot (acromegaly) etc.

Roche is a global leader in diagnostics and pharmaceuticals with a strong focus on oncology, immunology, infectious diseases and ophthalmology. The company’s key products include MabThera/Rituxan (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), Herceptin (breast cancer), Avastin (colorectal cancer), Kadcyla (breast cancer) etc.

Sanofi is a leading global pharmaceutical company with a strong focus on diabetes, vaccines, rare diseases and multiple sclerosis. Its key products include Lantus (diabetes), Dupixent (asthma), Kevzara (rheumatoid arthritis), Praluent (high cholesterol) etc.

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company with a diversified product portfolio across various therapeutic areas such as oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases etc. Some of its key products are Keytruda (melanoma), Gardasil (cervical cancer), Zostavax (shingles), Isentress (HIV infection) etc.

GlaxoSmithKline plc is a global healthcare company with a strong focus on vaccines and prescription medicines. Its key products include Advair/Seretide (asthma/COPD), Nucala (severe asthma), Rotarix/Rotateq (rotavirus), Engerix-B (hepatitis B) etc.

Abbott Laboratories is a global healthcare company with a diversified product portfolio across various therapeutic areas such as diabetes care, cardiovascular disease, nutrition etc. Its key products include FreeStyle Libre (diabetes), Trilipix (high cholesterol), Similac (infant formula), Depakote (epilepsy) etc.

Amgen is one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies with a strong focus on therapeutics for serious illnesses. Its key products include Enbrel (rheumatoid arthritis), Aranesp (anemia), Neulasta (chemotherapy-induced neutropenia), Prolia/Xgeva (bone metastases) etc.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company is a global biopharmaceutical company with a diversified product portfolio across various therapeutic areas such as oncology, immunology, cardiovascular disease etc. Some of its key products are Opdivo (lung cancer), Eliquis (stroke/DVT), Orencia (rheumatoid arthritis), Yervoy (melanoma) etc.

The top 5 therapeutic areas

The top 5 therapeutic areas for the pharmaceutical industry are:

  1. Cardiovascular diseases
  2. Cancer
  3. Infectious diseases
  4. Neurological disorders
  5. psychiatric disorders

The Global Pharmaceutical Market

The global pharmaceutical market is expected to reach USD 1.12 trillion by 2023, at a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period (2018-2023). The growth of the market is driven by factors such as the growing prevalence of chronic diseases, the aging population, and increasing access to healthcare.

The market is segmented by type into prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and herbal & traditional medicines. The prescription drug segment is further classified into branded drugs and generic drugs. The OTC drug segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

The market is also segmented by therapy into the cardiovascular, central nervous system, oncology, respiratory, digestive system, musculoskeletal system, and others. Among these segments, oncology is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

Geographically, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa (MEA). North America holds the largest share in the global pharmaceutical market owing to factors such as high healthcare expenditure and the availability of advanced healthcare infrastructure. The Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing region during the forecast period due to rapidly growing economies and increasing healthcare expenditure.

The U.S. Pharmaceutical Market

The United States holds the largest share of the global pharmaceutical market, with sales expected to reach $410 billion by 2022.

The U.S. pharmaceutical market is driven by high per capita spending on drugs, an aging population, and continued innovation in the sector. Per capita spending on drugs in the United States was $958 in 2015, more than double the OECD average of $451. This high level of spending is due in part to higher prices for drugs in the United States relative to other countries.

The aging population is another key driver of growth in the U.S. pharmaceutical market. The number of Americans aged 65 and older is expected to grow from 46 million in 2016 to 98 million by 2060, representing nearly one-quarter of the population. This demographic shift will result in increased demand for medications to treat age-related conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease.

Finally, the U.S. pharmaceutical market benefits from continued innovation in the sector. In 2016, 763 new molecular entities were under development globally, with 34% of these drugs originating in the United States. These new drugs offer potential treatments for a wide range of conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and infectious diseases.

The European Pharmaceutical Market

The European pharmaceutical market is the largest in the world, with sales of $265 billion in 2016. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5% to reach $316 billion by 2021.

The European Union (EU) consists of 28 member states, with a population of over 500 million people.

The pharmaceutical sector is one of the most regulated industries in the EU. The sector is subject to both EU and national regulations. Key regulations governing the sector include the Clinical Trials Directive, 2001/20/EC; the Good Manufacturing Practice Directive, 2003/94/EC; and the Marketing Authorization Directive, 2004/27/EC.

The European Commission is responsible for drafting legislation and setting priorities for the EU. The European Parliament adopts legislation along with the Council of the EU, which represents member state governments. Once legislation is adopted, it must be implemented by member states.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is responsible for evaluating and approving medicines for use in the EU. The EMA operates under two directives: the Clinical Trials Directive and the Marketing Authorization Directive.

The Asia-Pacific Pharmaceutical Market

The Asia-Pacific pharmaceutical market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2% from 2016 to 2021, reaching a value of US$857 billion by 2021. The region is the largest and fastest-growing market for pharmaceuticals, accounting for more than one-third of the global market.

The Asia-Pacific region includes some of the world's most populous countries, such as China and India, as well as developed markets such as Australia and Japan. The region's large population and economic growth are key drivers of the pharmaceutical market. Increasing access to healthcare, rising incomes, and an aging population is also contributing to market growth.

The Chinese pharmaceutical market is the largest in the Asia-Pacific region, accounting for nearly half of the regional market in 2016. The country is expected to continue to be a major driver of growth in the region, with a CAGR of 7.4% from 2016 to 2021. India is another key growth market in the region, with a CAGR of 9.6% during the same period.

The Asia-Pacific pharmaceutical market is highly fragmented, with numerous local and international players competing for market share. The top 10 companies accounted for less than 30% of the regional market in 2016. multinational companies such as Pfizer, Novartis, and GlaxoSmithKline are among the leading players in the Asia-Pacific pharma market.

The Latin American Pharmaceutical Market

The Latin American pharmaceutical market is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 6.7% between 2016 and 2022, reaching a value of USD $79.4 billion by 2022. The region is expected to be driven by growth in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. This growth will be driven by an increase in the number of people with access to healthcare, government initiatives to improve access to medicines, and economic growth.

In Brazil, the pharmaceutical market is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 7.6% between 2016 and 2022, reaching a value of USD $32.1 billion by 2022.

In Mexico, the pharmaceutical market is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 5.5% between 2016 and 2022, reaching a value of USD $11.2 billion by 2022.

In Argentina, the pharmaceutical market is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 8.3% between 2016 and 2022, reaching a value of USD $5.9 billion by 2022.

The Middle Eastern and African Pharmaceutical Markets

The Middle Eastern and African pharmaceutical markets are expected to experience significant growth in the next five years. The region is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.5% between 2016 and 2021, compared to a global CAGR of 6.2%. This growth can be attributed to several factors, including an increase in healthcare spending, a growing population, and the introduction of new products.

In terms of healthcare spending, the Middle East and Africa are expected to see an increase of 8.4% per year between 2016 and 2021. This growth is driven by government initiatives to improve access to healthcare, as well as private sector investment in the region's healthcare infrastructure. As a result of this increased spending, the number of people with health insurance is expected to rise from 40% in 2016 to 47% by 2021.

The population of the Middle East and Africa is also projected to grow significantly in the next five years. The region's population is expected to reach 1.9 billion by 2021, an increase of 30% from 2016. This population growth will provide a significant boost to the region's pharmaceutical market, as more people will be potential customers for drugs and other health products.

Finally, the introduction of new products is also expected to contribute to the growth of the Middle Eastern and African pharmaceutical markets. In particular, biological drugs are anticipated to become increasingly popular in the region over the next five years.

Conclusion

The global pharmaceutical market is expected to continue growing in the next decade, reaching USD 1.3 trillion by 2030. The main drivers of this growth will be rising incomes and aging populations in emerging markets, as well as continued innovation and development of new drugs and treatments. Despite these positive trends, the industry faces several challenges, including regulatory pressures, pricing pressures from payers and healthcare providers, and increasing competition from generic manufacturers.

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