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Spain’s Universal Healthcare Market to Grow despite Struggling Economy
25-07-2012: Spain’s commitment to free universal healthcare means that its pharmaceutical market will continue to grow in the face of continuing economic woes, states a report by business intelligence providers GlobalData.
The new research predicts that the Spanish pharmaceutical market will rise from a 2010 value of $18.9 billion to reach $44.8 billion by the end of 2020, climbing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.9% between the period 2011-2020.
Although Spain is amongst the most financially challenged nations of the EU, the country’s excellent healthcare system, combined with an aging population and new product releases, means the pharmaceutical market can expect to grow while other areas may stagnate.
Healthcare expenditure is on the rise in correlation with a growing elderly population; approximately 20% of Spain’s citizens were over 65 in 2010, and the associated disease burden will necessitate an increase in healthcare expenditure, placing further strain on a recession stricken economy but strengthening the pharmaceutical industry.
As a percentage of GDP, Spain’s 2011 healthcare spending was 9.8%, but due primarily to the per capita increase required to support the expanding elderly demographic, GlobalData expects this to jump to 12.6% by 2020.
Spain has strict regulations on the pricing of pharmaceuticals, and the cost of medications is lower than the EU average. Due to the country’s reference price system, branded drugs are not as expensive as in some other countries, and so their generic equivalents are unable to take a significant share of the market.
However, over the next five years there will be a number of patent expiries that are expected to negatively affect the pharmaceutical industry’s market value. New products are also expected during this period, but they may not overcome the losses caused by the patent expiration of these established medications.
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