IMS to Big Pharma: Get moving!

Is it possible that Big Pharma isn't moving fast enough into emerging markets? That's the implication of a new report from IMS Health. According to the market research firm, 17 "pharmerging" markets will account for almost half of the growth in drug sales by 2013, up from 37 percent last year. By then, emerging markets will make up 21 percent of total pharma sales. The fastest-growing is China, which will account for $40 billion in additional sales. Brazil, Russia and India are following close behind.

That's lots of growth and lots of sales. And if the big kahunas of pharmaceuticals don't change quickly, they'll miss out on the lion's share. Right now, the top 15 drugmakers get less than 10 percent of their sales in these fast-growth areas. That average masks big individual differences, but even the emerging markets pioneers risk losing out to local drugmakers with their local distribution networks and local manufacturing--not to mention local drug approvals.

"Our experience points to the clear advantages that exist for the early movers," IMS Health's David Campbell says in a statement. "Pharmaceutical manufacturers that lead in building out organizational competencies, tailoring portfolios and adapting business models to these new markets will reap the benefits of differentiation and entrenched presence compared to those that wait."

- check out the IMS release
- see the New York Times story