We are all searching for growth, and for today's healthcare executive, identifying areas to drive that growth can be a challenging task. While mature healthcare markets offer established distribution channels and reimbursement systems that ensure patient access to medicines on a broad scale, there is little expectation that they will be the growth drivers of the future.
The emerging markets have been present on our collective radar for some time, but many are now transitioning into significant healthcare growth markets that offer unique and substantial opportunities for pharma companies looking to grow brands and launch new products. While the healthcare growth markets share some of the same challenges as mature healthcare markets – namely rising healthcare costs, affordable access to medicines and costly chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes – there are pronounced differences in each of these growth countries that necessitate the need for comprehensive, market-specific knowledge to achieve success.
The good news is, while unique challenges do exist, there are steps pharmaceutical companies can take to drive growth in these still largely untapped markets.
In our latest Edge of Insight report – Inside the Growth Markets – Kantar takes an in-depth look at today's most attractive healthcare growth markets: China, Brazil, India, Korea, Taiwan, and Central and Eastern Europe. While all these markets represent strong opportunities for growth, we believe that the most opportunity right now exists in China and Brazil.
China, given its population and the sheer volume of patients, offers tremendous opportunity for pharma companies aiming to introduce advanced, branded medicines. The Chinese government is currently focusing on the treatment of chronic conditions, given their significant impact on the population, with a heightened focus on oncology because of its significant impact on healthcare costs. While China is still largely a generics market, its government is attempting to accelerate its approval process for innovative medicines through policy changes. And multinational pharmaceutical companies are responding by working to differentiate their innovative medicines and defend the value of their offerings.
Brazil is another strong healthcare growth market, featuring a huge private health insurance market which ranks the second largest in the world. However, Brazil also has a public, universal healthcare system that covers most of the population. The country’s unique public-private system offers two positive opportunities for pharma to grow their brands and to launch new medicines. First, private payers have less authority, and cost effectiveness models carry less weight in regulating the adoption of new technologies. Second, there's ENORMOUS potential for growth in the public market. Capitalizing on technology and innovation in this, and the other growth markets, lies in product differentiation and an unparalleled commitment to conducting business with the highest level of integrity.
In summary, for pharma to drive optimal commercial success across these healthcare growth markets, a local presence and a comprehensive understanding of local market nuances are necessary for developing and executing a highly informed market access strategy. This will allow companies to address foreseen and unforeseen market barriers, secure positions on formularies, and ultimately improve the health and well-being of the people in these countries and regions.