The pharmaceutical industry is an important sector in the worldwide economy and it has a crucial role. It is discovering, developing, manufacturing and distributing quality medicines. Innovation in research and development (R&D) has controlled threatening diseases, improved life quality and increased the average life expectancy during the past few decades.
The majority of the global pharmaceutical sales come from 3 main markets: North America, Europe and Japan. (See appendix I) More precisely, the USA are the leaders in this industry in terms of sales but also in terms of investment in R&D, new chemicals and biological entities discovered, number of new medicines marketed first etc. In Europe, the 'best' countries are the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. The UK is the first pharmaceutical industry in Europe. It is an interesting market as 'some nine of the top-75 selling global medicines originated from companies headquartered in Britain with the country producing more of these products than other countries with the exception of the USA' (Mintel 2003).
(See appendix II) Japan is the third market. It is then interesting to study the two main markets, the USA and Europe (especially the UK).
It is important to define the products of the industry. In this report, they include the pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations which can be segmented into two categories, the prescription-only medicines and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines which can be bought without prescription. (See appendix III)
The Business Communications Company (BCC) states that the world pharmaceutical industry stood at $541.0 billion in 2002, with 8% year-on-year growth. It has mainly been driven by the increasing role of substitutes-generic pharmaceuticals threat, the threat of new entrants-emergence of bio-pharmaceuticals and genome revolution, the increasing buyer power, the increasing health awareness amongst patients, the development in outsourcing but also the changing world...