The pharmaceutical market : a challenge for Spain

© Shutterstock
© Shutterstock
The end of the blockbuster by the loss of patents in recent years, the arrival of generics and biosimilars and the difficulty today to develop molecules, 10 times more complicated than 30 years ago have been important factors that have affected the growth of the pharmaceutical market. In addition, the arrival of the financial and economic crisis in 2008, has forced Governments to put in place measures of cutting public spending, which has not helped too.


In the case of Spain, according to IMS, the prospects between 2014 and 2018 are not very positive for the Spanish pharmaceutical market, only a 0.9% (±1. 5) annual growth is expected. In front of the global market, that estimates a growth between 4 to 7% in the same period of time. Some of the indicators that showed the performance of pharmaceutical market in Spain:

  • In August 2014 the public pharmaceutical expenditure in pharmacies to 12 months has been lower than the all-time high at 3.420 million € (- 27%).
  • Spain deviates from the average in the Eurozone in total public pharmaceutical expenditure per capita. In 2013 it fell 20.2% below the reference value in the Eurozone. The public health expenditure is also 36% below the Eurozone.
  • In addition, public expenditure on innovation continues a downward profile from June 2013.
  • Cheaper drugs (PVP< € 3.50) have become almost a half of drugs funded by 2013.
  • In 2013 have been sold 40% more units of generic medicines that were sold just 4 years ago.

However this must change, the pharmaceutical market can be a great opportunity for the Spanish global market. For four reasons:

  • Innovation: pharmaceutical market is the first sector in innovation. In addition, knowing that the probability of death is reduced when the most innovative are the drugs. In 2012 it represented 20% of Spanish industrial R & D.
  • Productivity: it is the second most produced in the country, more than 50% higher than the industry average in 2012.
  • Export: it is ranked fifth in exportation.
  • Employment: it is a source of significant employment.

To allow the growth of the pharmaceutical industry and turn it into a good opportunity for the country’s economy, a series of premises should be taken into account. First, pharmaceutical expenditure and the allocation of price control measures should be aligned with the EU. Innovation should also be enhanced, so the process of evaluation of drugs must be agile, transparent and independent, in which values are the dynamics of the innovation process. Always with the goal of creating a national health system financially sustainable, with a level of coverage according to the country’s economy, and accessible to all citizens that allows them to offer the best treatments available and especially innovative, and above all the system should be built-in in international flows of development of new drugs.



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