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Jennifer Markarian is manufacturing editor of Pharmaceutical Technology.
The pharmerging nations are expected to nearly double their spending on medicine by 2016, according to an IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics report, The Global Use of Medicines:
The pharmerging nations are expected to nearly double their spending on medicine by 2016, according to an IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics report, The Global Use of Medicines: Outlook through 2016, the Institute said in a press release. The report lists the pharmerging nations as: China, Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico, Turkey, Poland, Venezuela, Argentina, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand, Romania, Egypt, Ukraine, Pakistan and Vietnam. Increased medicine spending comes from the increasing purchasing power of the growing middle class in these countries, as well as government efforts to improve healthcare access. For example, the Brazilian government’s 2011 Programa Brasil Sem Miseria (Brazil Without Poverty) aims to bring social services like healthcare to an estimated 16 million Brazilians, a PharmTech interview with Brazil’s Development Bank Leader explained. The Brazilian government has also been encouraging the pharmaceutical industry to grow in Brazil by improving the health system and the regulatory regime. But increased spending does not necessarily mean branded pharma company growth, since this spending is mostly on generics, over-the-counter medicines, diagnostics, and non-therapeutics, said the IMS report. The government in India plans to increase healthcare spending, and in February proposed an initiative called “free medicine for all through public health facilities”, stated a Feb. 29, 2012 press release. A recent New York Times article gave an update on this Indian government program, which is expected to spend nearly $5 million to provide generic drugs to patients at government-run facilities over the next five years. While big pharma may not find much demand for branded drugs in these government spending programs, the generics industry should benefit, and can all agree the programs should benefit the poorest of the poor?