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China Could Be 3rd Largest Pharma Market By 2011

Research firm said sales of prescription drugs in emerging markets will grow rapidly over next few years, with China becoming world's third-largest market in 2011.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Sales of prescription drugs in emerging markets will grow rapidly over the next few years, pharmaceutical market research firm IMS Health said Tuesday, with China becoming the world's third-largest prescription drug market in 2011.

IMS said pharmaceutical revenue in China is growing at a great pace, and the market there could double by 2013 as the country improves its health care infrastructure and aims for near-universal health coverage. The firm said drug revenue there will grow by $40 billion through 2013.

IMS said growth in China has come even more quickly than it expected. In 2006, it predicted China would be the world's sixth-largest pharmaceutical market by 2011. The two largest markets are the U.S. and Japan.

In total, IMS said emerging pharmaceutical markets will account for almost half of the global drug industry's growth by 2011. After China, it expects the greatest growth to come from Brazil, Russia, and India, which could each add $5 billion to $15 billion to worldwide pharmaceutical spending through 2013.

IMS had highlighted seven countries as emerging drug markets in 2006: China, Brazil, Mexico, India, Russia, South Korea, and Turkey. It said South Korea is now a developed market and added another 11 countries to the list. It said another $1 billion to $5 billion could come from Venezuela, Poland, Argentina, Vietnam, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Romania, Egypt, Pakistan and Ukraine through 2013.

IMS Health is based in Norwalk, Conn. Last month, it was acquired by affiliates of TPG Capital LP and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $5.2 billion.

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