Asia as the New Kid on the Pharma Block and Why Multinationals Should be Scared

How an entire continent, bolstered by its lower production costs and higher disposable incomes, may spell the end of Pharma as we know it.

Nexium capsules

A new report from Thomson Reuters indicates that the global pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a power-shift from the developed world to the developing, with Asia playing a leading role in developing its own innovative medicines.

The report indicates that Asian nations are channeling funds into their own research labs and simultaneously instituting patents, therefore posing a completely new threat to brand name drug companies in the West.

As Asia is home to several emerging markets that large multinationals already had their eye on, the rise of local pharmaceutical companies could pave the way for a huge market opportunity for Asian governments and companies and a significant decline in business opportunities for Western companies.

"It's a business decision. These economies are growing, people have more disposable income and they are spending more on healthcare, so the markets are growing," said Hans Poulsen, head of life sciences consulting at Thomson Reuters, in a Reuters article.

Not only is the development good for business in Asia, but the trend--as we profiled in a recent story on an India-South Africa co-produced HIV vaccine--is likely to create greater macro-economic effects in developing countries, such as job creation, and impact more than just Asia as the continent increasingly collaborates with Africa.

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[Image: flickr user Rennett Stowe]

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