Pharma boom in Eastern Europe

August 28, 2009
Stephanie Sutton

Stephanie Sutton was an assistant editor at Pharmaceutical Technology Europe.

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe PTE

Eastern Europe's pharmaceutical market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of more than 10% to be worth more than $41 billion by 2014, according to a report from companiesandmarkets.com.

Eastern Europe's pharmaceutical market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of more than 10% to be worth more than $41 billion by 2014, according to a report from companiesandmarkets.com. The highest sales are expected to be seen in the cardiovascular market ($7.8 billion), followed by alimentary canal and metabolic disorders ($6 billion).

According to the report, The Eastern European Pharmaceutical Market Outlook to 2014, the main player in the region is Novartis, which led the market with $1. 5 billion in sales in 2007 thanks to the marketing of both generic and branded pharma products. However, the leading treatment in 2007 was sanofi-aventis' Lovenox (enoxaparin) with sales of $152 million.

Traditionally, pharma companies have been quite successful in Eastern European countries; however, healthcare systems have become increasingly complex during the past few years. As a solution, governments have been attempting to reduce costs by launching healthcare reforms. Many countries have now introduced regulated health insurance systems to replace state-controlled healthcare, and the Czech Republic and Slovenia have also opened up health insurance markets to competition from private insurers.

This move to curb pharmaceutical expenditure could lead to new opportunities for pharma companies involved in the manufacture of generics. According to the report, niche players tend to perform well in the region; for example, Krka (Slovenia) led the Slovenian market in 2007 with the generic gastrointestinal OTC product Ultop. The move to reduce drug expenditure may also drive the acceptance of biosimilars. Initially, well-established generic manufacturers with advanced development programmes are expected to perform well, but small- to medium-sized biopharm companies are also expected to emerge in the longer-term.

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