Big Pharma Seeks Big Profits in Developing Nations

Drug Makers See Future in New Markets
By Amelia Atlas,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2008 2:47 AM CST
Big Pharma Seeks Big Profits in Developing Nations
British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline is focusing efforts on developing markets, recently striking deals with South African and Egyptian firms.   (AP Photo)

The pharmaceutical industry is turning away from the US shores that helped fill its pockets and toward the developing world, the Economist reports. Massive growth has made markets like India and China too attractive to ignore, despite lower income levels and weaker patent laws. And many companies fear Barack Obama's health-care plans will mean major price cuts.

Drug sales in these markets may hit $300 billion by 2017, equaling that of the five biggest European economies and America combined. GlaxoSmithKline has struck licensing agreements in Africa, while Pfizer’s restructuring will emphasize new markets. Big pharma has shown increasing willingness to use tiered-pricing models and tailored business strategies, helping developing nations to become, in the words of one executive, “a business, not a charity.” (More pharmaceutical industry stories.)

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