Recent reports suggest that big pharmaceutical companies are setting their sights on the African continent. The continent’s economic growth has been grabbing headlines in recent months and consequently Africa’s middle class has been emerging. Team this with the rise in chronic diseases and big pharma companies are taking interest.
The opportunity for pharmaceutical giants in Africa is forecasted to be worth an astonishing $45 billion by 2020 and the continent is expected to see a growth rate of 10.6 percent per annum, which puts it in line with growth in Latin America. This expected progression also makes Africa an exciting prospect for pharma companies, owing to the fact that more established emerging markets are seeing a slow-down in growth.
“We're thinking hard about what happens when those emerging starts start to slow because they are not going to continue growing at the rate that they're growing forever - and a place where we're putting a lot of our attention is Africa,” confirmed Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez.
European drug makers - including GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi and Novartis - are investing in Africa to capture their share of the larger market. Sanofi is spending €70 million ($94.15 million) on a new plant in Algeria, while GSK just spent $98 million to raise its stake in its Nigerian consumer products unit. GSK is also working to boost its market penetration in other countries, with the goal of increasing volumes fivefold within five years, partly by keeping prices very low.