In Emerging Markets, Big Pharma Pursuing 'Branded Generics' Strategy — Still Means GS1 Barcodes On Market Compliant Labelsby Enterprise Labeling on Oct 15, 2009 • 3:37 pm No Comments
In this article, entitled “Major pharmaceutical companies see generics as a bridge to the future,” writer Clay Boswell first provides a review of all the major acquisitions, mergers and joint marketing agreements by large pharmaceutical companies over the past couple of years. That alone will give you an impression of how and where the major drug companies are currently and actively planning to leverage the emerging market opportunity. But Mr. Boswell goes much further. In an analysis that for me, at least, represents the first time anyone has explained how major pharmaceutical companies can make money in emerging markets, he brings together literally dozens of examples, expert sources, and compelling data points.
It is a long article, but it is a big subject and the writer includes several very specific examples of how named pharmaceutical companies are making emerging markets a central component of their global strategies. Plus, there are these compelling market stats:
Growth in key markets is steadily declining; the US market may even shrink this year, according to US research firm IMS Health. New product pipelines have been disappointing for years, as well, and there is no sign that drug discovery is going to become easier anytime soon.
However, at least one opportunity offers grounds for hope: the emerging markets, particularly Brazil, Russia, India, China, Mexico, Turkey and South Korea – what Tim Anderson, senior analyst at New York-based investment research firm Sanford C. Bernstein calls the EM-7.
The total size of the EM-7 markets is relatively small, just $91bn last year, versus global pharma sales of $733bn. However, those seven markets accounted for 32% of overall global sales growth, a contribution that will only increase going forward. Whereas global sales growth has steadily declined from 7.9% in 2004 to 4.8% in 2008, growth in the EM-7 has been 14.2% (2008) and higher, even reaching 27.2% in 2005, Anderson notes, referring to figures from IMS Health.
I recommend the article. At the same time, if you haven’t noticed, leading FDA authorities involved in the push to develop a standardized medical devices and products identification system have been travelling globally lately. This is happening just in advance of an expected announcement later this month about the FDA’s choice of a standard and it is widely believed it will be GS1 based or driven. It is my hunch the FDA wants to use an approach here that will be embraced globally and GS1 provides a leg up on that issue. What this implies, then, for global pharmaceutical companies interested in emerging markets, is that they not only need to prep a product strategy for these regions, but also figure out how to create and print compliant labels for acceptance worldwide. Don’t know how to do that? The idea of it gives you a headache? Take two aspirin and call us in the morning. Seriously, the labeling requirement is a cinch to meet in comparison to getting the product portfolio in line.
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