As well as driving medical progress by researching, developing and bringing new medicines that improve health and quality of life for patients around the world, the research-based pharmaceutical industry is a key asset of the European economy. It is one of Europe’s top performing high-technology sectors.
There is rapid growth in the market and research environment in emerging economies such as
Brazil, China and India, leading to a gradual migration of economic and research activities from
Europe to these fast-growing markets. During the period 2013-2017 the Brazilian, Chinese and
Indian markets grew by 11.5%, 9.4% and 11.0% respectively compared to an average market
growth of 4.4% for the top 5 European Union markets and 7.3% for the US market (source: IQVIA
Institute, March 2018).
In 2017 North America accounted for 48.1% of world pharmaceutical sales compared with 22.2%
for Europe. According to IQVIA data (MIDAS May 2018), 64.1% of sales of new medicines launched
during the period 2012-2017 were on the US market, compared with 18.1% on the European market (top 5 markets).
The fragmentation of the EU pharmaceutical market has resulted in a lucrative parallel trade.
This benefi ts neither social security nor patients and deprives the industry of additional resources
to fund R&D. Parallel trade was estimated to amount to € 5,202 million (value at ex-factory
prices) in 2016.
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