November 15, 2011 11:08 ET

Western Europe Pharmaceuticals Market to Reach $240 Billion by 2016

ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwire - Nov 15, 2011) - has announced the addition of the new report "The Outlook for Pharmaceuticals in Western Europe," to their collection of Manufacturing, Packaging & Detailing market reports. For more information, visit

Market growth in the mature markets of Western Europe is assured over the coming years by the health needs of ageing populations, and will be driven by investment in innovative medicines, particularly in the hospital market. Growth, however, will be tempered somewhat by the effects of the global economic recession in the short term. The leading markets are projected to average a CAGR of 2.1% in US dollar terms up to 2016, to represent a combined pharmaceutical market value of over US$240 billion.

Demand for pharmaceutical products is set to increase over the coming years, in order to fulfill the health needs of the ageing population. Meanwhile, the trend towards generics is set to continue, with several major patent expiries coming up, and with more governments introducing or expanding generic substitution as a cost-containment measure.

Recent austerity measures, introduced to deal with the impact of the economic recession, have included drug price cuts or discounts in markets such as France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain. These price cuts will have an impact across Western Europe, as many other countries use a reference pricing system. These price cuts could limit market growth and there are also fears that lower prices could lead to higher levels of parallel exports.

The hospital market is expected to be the main driver of growth in Western European markets, with increasing investment in expensive, innovative products to treat chronic diseases, such as cancer. The investment from hospitals into new drugs will offset the falling prices of mature drugs that are soon to go off patent. There are opportunities to further explore biotechnology advances and reformulations, which will drive the market forward in the long term.

France has one of the highest pharmaceutical per capita consumption levels in the world. The French pharmaceutical market is also one of the world's largest. Overall pharmaceutical market growth has been comparatively low in recent years and is expected to average a moderate CAGR in the medium term, with government cost-containment programmes exerting downward pressure on reimbursable products. The hospital market has been much more dynamic with growth rates twice this figure in recent years, although growth rates are now falling due to greater regulatory controls in this sector and fewer innovative drugs coming to market. The underdeveloped generics market is undergoing rapid expansion, boosted by government incentives and the loss of patent protection for several high-volume products. The stagnating OTC market has also started to expand, as a result of government moves to end reimbursement for a wide range of products assigned a low medical value rating.

Germany's economy depends heavily on exports and was therefore hit hard by the global downturn. However, GDP is expected to strengthen over the next five years. The German pharmaceutical market is the largest in Europe. Growth in recent years has tended to be uneven, as government reforms take effect on pricing and/or reimbursement. A new law passed in November 2010, designed to bring down the average price of drugs, is expected to dampen growth slightly over the next few years. The pharmaceutical market is projected to increase at a low CAGR between 2011 and 2016. The law reduces the power that pharmaceutical companies have in deciding what to charge for new prescription drugs. New, innovative drugs have been targeted as they were entirely responsible for the increase in drug spending in 2009. The German biotechnology market is expanding; biopharmaceuticals are expected to represent a fifth of the overall pharmaceutical market by 2020, according to Sandoz.

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