Updated on 10 September 2012
Activities in Asia will strengthen company reputations. This will help them to shape domestic healthcare markets, build Asian data and information, and help improve healthcare provision in the region. The commercial result is potential to build market share, which is a strategic consideration as the eight markets in South East Asia alone are projected to have a total pharmaceutical market value of $77.4 billion at retail prices by 2016.
Asia's fast paced growth, increasing pharmaceutical market size and improving infrastructure make it the region of choice to conduct R&D. Furthermore, due to urbanization and diet, Asia is increasingly experiencing a high prevalence of "rich man" diseases previously more common in Europe and North America. India, for example, has the highest diabetic population in the world, while across Asia infertility rates are increasing. More than 40 million people in China are estimated to suffer from infertility problems, putting the infertility rate at 12 percent, as compared to just three percent, 20 years ago.
The region's healthcare priorities are gradually shifting from acute disease management to lifestyle disease management. Research into chronic diseases with high prevalence therefore, provides commercial opportunity while helping to address the local unmet medical needs - providing opportunities for global pharmaceutical companies, the regional scientific and medical fraternity, and the local population.
Unfortunately, conducting R&D in the booming Asian markets is not without its challenges. One of the most common issues faced by global pharmaceutical companies in Asia is the lack of strategic drug development capabilities. This coupled with a lower number of experienced investigators, and local experienced pharmaceutical clinical development staff may hinder those wanting to venture into R&D in Asia.