The Outlook for Pharmaceuticals in Central Asia

Date: February 27, 2012
US$ 3,630.00
Publisher: Espicom Business Intelligence
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)

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The Outlook for Pharmaceuticals in Central Asia
These reports analyse the issues

These reports provide a detailed analysis of four of the most populous countries in the world and the massive potential of their pharmaceutical markets. The markets of Central Asia contrast well; China and India are two of the largest pharmaceutical markets with very large economies, whilst Bangladesh and Pakistan are two of the smallest pharmaceutical markets with significantly smaller economies.

Bangladesh, China, India and Pakistan are projected to have a combined population of 3.0 billion in 2016, which will represent just under four-fifths of the total population of the Asia Pacific region covered by Espicom. As a percentage of the population, these four countries will have small elderly populations. However, they are projected to account for nearly three-quarters of the total elderly population in the Asia Pacific region in 2016.

China and India are projected to have the largest and third largest GDPs in the region in 2016, respectively. Both are part of the BRICS group that represents the world’s largest emerging economies, along with Brazil, Russia and South Africa. The BRICS countries are predicted to become the most dominant economies over the next few decades, which could lead to a shift in the global balance of economic power.

Bangladesh and Pakistan are projected to have the lowest and second lowest GDPs per capita in the Asia Pacific region in 2016, as these are two of the poorest countries in the world that also have large young populations. In comparison to China and India, the healthcare services of Bangladesh and Pakistan are underdeveloped, which is illustrated by limited health spending, low physician rates and high infant mortality rates.

Multinational pharmaceutical companies are increasingly looking to invest in or form partnerships in these four markets, due to the size of the potential drug consumer pool. The generic sectors in these four markets are particularly significant, and have grown rapidly in recent years. However, there still remain concerns over IP protection and its enforcement, which could deter multinational companies from entering these markets.

Highlights from the region


The Bangladeshi pharmaceutical market is projected to grow at a high single-digit CAGR in US dollar terms during the forecast period. Bangladesh will have the smallest pharmaceutical market in the Asia Pacific region covered by Espicom in 2016. The balance of pharmaceutical trade remains negative, with the deficit largely accountable to imports of raw materials and antisera & vaccines. There is a large generic sector in Bangladesh, led by companies such as Square and Beximco. However, despite the country possessing huge manufacturing capabilities that supply around 96% of domestic need, the complete lack of R&D by local manufacturers could affect the market.


The Ministry of Health (MoH) has made lowering drug prices a top priority for health authorities in 2011. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) implemented two rounds of drug price reductions in 2011, one in March and the other in September. Most of the drugs reduced were manufactured by multinationals, which had previously not been subject to pricing controls. In terms of regulatory developments, the State Food & Drug Administration (SFDA) started to inspect overseas manufacturing facilities in November 2011, as the agency seeks to align its practices with international standards. In July 2011, the MoH revealed that it may introduce mandatory licensing policy to secure cheaper drugs for HIV/AIDS patients, as part of the country’s universal health coverage programme.


India’s biopharmaceutical sector is currently experiencing double digit growth and this is expected to continue, driven by the vaccines market. Growth drivers include education and increased awareness of disease prevention, increases in disposable income and government participation in immunisation programmes. Continued growth is also expected in the diagnostic and therapeutic segments, including cancer and diabetes. India is already known as the diabetes capital of the world and the number of diabetes patients in India is expected to grow to 70 million by 2025. Cancer therapies are also lucrative for many Indian companies due to highly unmet need, increased awareness and the comparative affordability of domestically produced drugs.


Pakistan’s pharmaceutical market is small and equally split between multinational and domestic companies. Espicom projects the market to grow at a fairly high single-digit CAGR in dollar terms during the forecast period. By 2016, it will be the 11th largest pharmaceutical market in the Asia Pacific region covered by Espicom. The pharmaceutical market is dominated by locally manufactured pharmaceuticals, predominantly generic drugs, which meet around 90% of the country’s needs in 2011. Imported retail medicaments account for the remainder of the market, although manufacturers rely heavily on imported raw materials for production. Multinational companies account for around half of the market by value, although local producers have a far greater share in terms of volume.

Use these original and insightful reports to...
  • Assess future market values with our unique and regularly reviewed independent 5-year market forecasts.
  • Track the latest developments with the news service that is included for every country.
  • Understand the critical issues and drivers which are shaping the market.
  • Evaluate the environment for branded and generic operators and stay in touch with the fast growing biologic sector.
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  • Benchmark key market performance with Espicom’s standardised data.
4 Key Markets Covered


Including Espicom's at a glance strategic analysis and key data projections


Political, economic, legal and demographic analysis


Disease burden and prevalence


Organisation, expenditure, infrastructure, services and workforce


Regulatory developments and marketing registration/authorisation




Projections, product development, manufacturing and trade


Trade associations, trade fairs, company intelligence and competitive strategies





Espicom's unique strategic analysis


HEALTHCARE DATA - updated annually
A comprehensive tabula review of the market, including economic indicators, demographics, health expenditure, hospital and primary care data, and healthcare personnel.
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