"Western diseases" drive pharma boom in Africa - 18 Mar 2013
- Major drugmakers are increasingly looking to Africa to drive revenue as the middle class continues to expand in major urban areas, CNN reported.
- "Urban centres have the highest concentration of the segments of the population that are more likely to be relatively wealthy, more likely to be educated and also possibly more likely to suffer from the chronic diseases of affluence that are becoming increasingly important in Africa," said Sarah Rickwood, director of Thought Leadership at IMS Health.
- According to a recent IMS report, pharmaceutical spending in Africa is predicted to increase from $18 billion currently to $30 billion by 2016 and $45 billion by 2020.
- "We're seeing a movement of volume towards more products that treat chronic diseases," remarked Rickwood, adding "as urban populations are becoming wealthier, they're more likely to have a Western diet, they're living longer and they're going to suffer the kind of chronic diseases that Western individuals suffer."
- In addition to drugmakers such as Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline that have already established a presence on the continent, several drugmakers have increased their presence in Africa in recent years, including a doubling of exports from Indian and Chinese companies over the last decade.
- "There is a rapidly growing opportunity across Africa, not just in the markets that are well established," Rickwood mentioned, noting "growth is strong and the macroeconomic indicators are that growth will continue to be strong over the next 10 years and probably beyond."