Asia: Generic Drugs to Become Greater Percentage of Pharmaceutical Sales

Innovator pharmaceutical companies will soon have their branded sales heavily affected in the Asian pharmaceutical markets. This is due to the fact that pharmaceutical products collectively expected to generate $21 billion will go off patent over the next five years. Brand pharmaceutical companies will find their overall sales diminished by this Loss of Exclusivity.

Generic drugs are becoming more popular in the Asian region. International drug companies are encouraged to take advantage of the generic drug market growth in order to defend against market share erosion. Some brand pharmaceutical companies, such as Sanofi-Aventis, have proactively launched an authorized generic (AG) version of their pharmaceutical product in Asia before their branded product went off patent. This allows brand pharmaceutical companies to participate in the generic drug market.

As each Asian country is unique in its pharmaceutical market, pharmaceutical companies must use a different approach for each Asian country when penetrating the generic pharmaceutical market. For example, generic drugs make up over 66% of the pharmaceutical sales of China and India. For Taiwan and Singapore, generic drugs are only 33% of pharmaceutical sales. The Philippines expects a 17% annual growth in their generic pharmaceutical sales over the next five years, but these demands will be met through out-of-pocket expenses rather than government funding or reimbursement. Korea, on the other hand, has a relatively largely reimbursed market for generics. Each Asian country’s pharmaceutical market must be analyzed and approached separately.