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Major Pharmaceutical Markets in Europe
"What - and where - are the opportunities for pharmaceutical companies?
This report provides: Comparative regional overview Market valuations for 7 key markets 5-year forecasts to 2010 for each market Market outlook Comprehensive background and trade data
The seven main european markets represent a marketplace for pharmaceutical products worth US$162 billion a year

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If you operate in Europe, what are the prospects for growth and what operating environment will you face in the future? News stories chronicle the pressures and problems facing governments trying to expand or maintain provision in a cost-constrained world. But one fact remains. The seven countries covered by this report represent a total pharmaceutical market value of US$162 billion, which is expected to grow by US$47 billion over the next five years!

The seven markets are diverse in terms of health provision, funding, domestic production and health plans. The market is expanding due to an ageing population, earlier diagnosis of disease and wider use of pharmaceuticals. Government responses to meeting the rising demands in publicly funded health - and especially the drugs bill - range from increased health insurance, co-payments and related taxes to increased use of private funding and generic substitution. Increasingly, battles about reimbursement levels and pricing are set to hot up in the coming years.

While growth in the generics sector looks set to continue - particularly in markets where current levels of generic subscribing are low. The migration of R&D to countries that offer more advantageous commercial and research environments will become a cause for concern.

The report analyses the following key markets:

FRANCE At US$660, France has one of the highest pharmaceutical per capita consumption levels in the world. The pharmaceutical market is also one of the world’s largest, with total spending valued at US$39.5 billion in 2004. Overall market growth is comparatively low at around 6% per annum.

The underdeveloped generics market is undergoing rapid expansion, as around 100 compounds with combined annual sales of €3.0 billion are due to come off patent between 2005 and 2008.

The stagnating OTC market is also finally set to expand as a result of government plans to end reimbursement for a wide range of products assigned a low medical value rating.

France is the third largest producer of pharmaceuticals in the world accounting for 5% of global pharmaceutical output. GERMANY Germany is the third largest pharmaceutical market in the world and is the largest in Europe. Although the domestic consumption of pharmaceuticals is being constrained by government policy, the export market continues to expand. Germany also has the largest generic market in Europe. Major healthcare reforms were introduced in Jan. 2005. One of the aims was to reduce the average contribution rate to health insurance companies. Another aim was to reduce overall pharmaceutical expenditure, especially by the statutory health insurance .

The German pharmaceutical industry is under severe price constraints and methods imposed by the government limit pharmaceutical expenditure. Coupled with increasing compulsory manufacturer discounts, the pharmaceutical market is unlikely to expand in the coming year. ITALY The size of the pharmaceutical market in Italy is estimated to be approximately US$27 billion, equal to US$474 per capita. This is comparable in size to the UK. The pharmaceutical market is expected to increase by 5.0% year on year to 2010.
Recent forecasts suggest that GDP will increase by 2% in 2007, from 1.2% in 2006, as a result of increasing levels of investment and exports. Consumer prices are forecast to increase by 1.5% in both 2006 and 2008.

In an effort to increase efficiency in the healthcare sector, the use of an electronic ‘health card’ is being tested in Northern Italy. NETHERLANDS As the costs of healthcare are increasing, the Dutch government is aiming to reduce drug expenditure rather than usage, via agreements with pharmaceutical trade associations. This has resulted in drastic price cuts being imposed on both branded and generic pharmaceuticals.
The market for generic pharmaceutical products is growing more rapidly than for branded products. This trend is set to increase as there are a number of widely used products coming ‘off patent’ in the near future.
The government is introducing a mandatory health insurance scheme, which will commence in January 2006. This will replace the current two-tier system.

The Netherlands has a well-respected contract research and development environment, although few multinationals currently have manufacturing plants there. SPAIN The Spanish pharmaceutical market is the fifth largest in the EU and the seventh in the world. In 2005, pharmaceutical expenditure at retail prices is valued at E16 billion, or US$19.3 billion. Prescription only medicines (POM) account for 94.5% of the pharmacy market. Generics represent 3.5% of the pharmacy POM market.

Health expenditure has been frozen in Spain at 7.0% of GDP between 1997 and 2004. Approximately 72% of total health spending comes from the public sector, equal to €40.0 billion in 2004 of which pharmaceutical expenditure represented 22.2% equal to €9.0 billion. After Greece, Spain has the cheapest drugs in the EU.

The government has introduced numerous cost-containment measures in recent years, including the suspension of the reference price system early in 2005, a new 2% tax on pharmaceutical sales as from January 2004, a 4.2% drug price reduction as from March 2005, decreasing wholesalers’ margins and the promotion of generics. SWITZERLAND

The medical equipment and supplies market in Switzerland was estimated to be approximately US$1.5 billion in 2005, which is comparable to the Netherlands. In terms of per capita expenditure, the Swiss market is ranked second globally behind the USA.

Switzerland represents a wealthy market where hospitals, clinics and physicians invest in new equipment and devices, although an increasing culture of cost awareness is spreading throughout the healthcare system.

Although Switzerland remains outside of the European Union, the federal government has increasingly aligned its medical device regulations to those of the EU. UK Healthcare is never far from the top of the political agenda in the UK. With far reaching government reforms of the National Health Service, expenditure on the NHS has increased by 45% since 1997. Public-Private Partnerships funding the structural expansion of the NHS is just one of the issues facing the present government.