The Global Pharmaceutical Market


The pharmaceutical sector in developed, as well as developing countries, has experienced explosive growth in the last few years. From a market value of USD Eleven Hundred Billion in 2013, it is expected to increase to USD 1,570 Billion by 2023. It is also expected that this growth will continue beyond 2030 and will register a growth of at least 12.8 % annually. An increase in the demand-supply gap, an increase in health awareness, a breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic, increase in per capita health expenditure, are just some of the reasons which are fueling this growth.

Major market players include North America with the largest market share standing at 46 %, second to it is Europe with 26 % while the remaining belongs to the rest of the exporting countries such as China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and others. India and China are major players in the export market for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, the main raw material of medicines. The latter has a share of almost 40 % in the global API market. The total value of the global pharmaceutical market is estimated at 1.27 trillion US Dollars growing from only 390 billion USD in 2001. It has also been predicted that within the market, the value of branded generics will cross USD 700 Billion and that of generics will cross USD 380 Billion by 2025.

These are extremely promising figures not for those who dominate the global market but also for those developing nations which are in desperate need of economic revival. Countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Pakistan can draw considerable benefits from exporting health care products to numerous markets around the world.

Pakistan Pharmaceutical Exports

In 2000 Pakistan’s pharmaceutical exports were only USD 9 million. However, in 2019 exports crossed USD 250 million. The Pakistani pharmaceutical industry registered a colossal growth in value, from USD 1.64 Billion in 2011 it has grown exponentially to USD 3.2 billion in 2019. The current exports of Pakistan within the global pharma market are not even 1 %. Imagine, what happens to Pakistan’s revenue if this market share even doubles. It is estimated that with a little support from the government, The Pakistan pharma industry can expand to a size of $5 billion within the coming years. In 2019, Pakistan exported USD 82.4 Million worth of medicaments containing vitamins & pro-vitamins, steroids/hormones, alkaloids.

Medicines containing Hormones/steroids or classified as hormones excluding corticosteroids & insulins were exported to the tune of USD 77 Million. USD 16.6 Million worth of Medicines containing antibiotics prepared in measured doses (excluding streptomycin & penicillin) were exported by Pakistan. However, when it comes to Human vaccines and antisera, the exports are zero. Also, when it comes to API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients), Pakistan’s export contribution to the global market is zero.

Pakistan imports more than 95 % of API for its local pharmaceutical market, this ends in a high cost of production and a lost opportunity as well. The Pakistan pharmaceutical industry is dominated by multinational medicine companies in Pakistan and the largest pharmaceutical companies. These include names like Getz Pharma, Herbion Pakistan, Don Valley Pharma, Martin Dow Marker Ltd, Nabi Qasim Industries, Bayer Pakistan, ATCO Laboratories, CCL Pharma, Sanofi Aventis, and many more.

From the largest pharmaceutical companies to the smallest in Pakistan, the distribution of their products is handled by medicine distributors in Lahore and medicine distributors in Karachi. One such distributor is Lahore Pharma. You can get Lahore pharma contact number from the web.

Top Exporters of pharmaceutical products in Pakistan

Top exporters of pharmaceutical Products in Pakistan include names like Abbot Laboratories Pakistan Ltd, GSK, Nabi Qasim Industries (Pvt) Ltd, Getz Pharma (Pvt) Ltd, The Searle Company Ltd, Martin Dow Marker Limited, Genix Pharma (Pvt) Ltd, Don Valley Pharma, Sami Pharmaceuticals (Pvt)Ltd, and many more.

Abbot Laboratories reported revenues of 35 billion rupees during the last fiscal year. This includes exports of 1.76 billion rupees. The company exports to USA, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

The Searle Company recorded sales of 16.6 billion rupees inclusive of export revenue valuing 2.3 billion rupees. Getz Pharma recorded revenues of over 19 billion including exports. Sanofi Aventis recorded revenues of 14 billion rupees including 659 million exports. Don Valley Pharma earned over ten million US dollars (1.75 billion rupees), a major chunk of which was from exports.

Export Challenges to Pakistani Pharmaceutical Companies

Exporting medicines to the global market requires three things from a pharmaceutical company. License to manufacture, product (BE) Bio Equivalency research study report, and GMP compliance report.

Pakistani pharmaceutical companies face no issue when it comes to GMP compliance reports and License to Manufacture. It’s the BE report that becomes a challenge. A single BE report can cost USD 300,000 which is not affordable for most local companies. This is one of the primary reasons why Pakistani pharmaceutical companies have been unable to make inroads into EU Countries, Russia, Australia, and Japan. Only two Pakistani companies, one in Peshawar and the other in Karachi, are offering BE report service.

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients

The Pakistani pharmaceutical industry lags seriously behind its competitors when it comes to producing Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API). This is the basic raw material for the production of pharmaceuticals. There are hardly six or seven producers of API in Pakistan, prompting Pakistani manufacturers to import API regularly. Even the best medicine company in Pakistan has to import API. Up to 95 to 97 % of the required API is imported every year from countries like India and China. The remaining 3 % is hardly enough to cater to local manufacturers. This increased the cost of producing medicines and rendered Pakistani pharmaceuticals highly uncompetitive in the international market.

Pakistan needs to focus on this subsector to reduce production costs. Self-sustenance in this sector can not only make Pakistani medicines competitive in the global market but the country can even end up exporting API.

Human Vaccines

Since the birth of the Pakistani pharmaceutical industry, there has been o production of human vaccines. No medicine company in Lahore, or Karachi, or anywhere in the country is engaged in the development of human vaccines. Despite a population of 220 million people and more than 700 pharmaceutical companies, there is not even a single production unit that produces human Vaccines. The importance of vaccines cannot be emphasized enough; a very recent example is the outbreak of Covid-19. European, American, Chinese, and Russian pharmaceutical sector has derived significant benefits from the development of covid-19 vaccines. Unfortunately, Pakistan has not even developed something as simple as a polio vaccine for its population.

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