We’ve all heard the pros and cons of the industry’s outlook in Europe, the US and some Asian nations, but information from South America and Southeast Asia can be scarce.  However, new data suggests that opportunity may lie in two countries, one that has been mostly overlooked and one at the forefront of global headlines.pills

The new data provide insight into the growing global market for pharma. EyeForPharma, an industry hub led by senior level executives, highlighted these two markets, as well as the markets of several countries across the globe.

Thailand

Thailand presents an interesting opportunity for pharmaceutical investment. The government’s current healthcare scheme covers 99 percent of the population and rising costs have sent the government on a quest for more efficient and modern options.

 Pros

  • With virtually every Thai citizen covered, the industry plays a significant role in the market. In fact, the pharmacy market accounts for 23 percent of Thailand’s overall market, according to EyeForPharma. Pharma is already huge in Thailand, but the outlook is positive both for industry leaders and emerging competitors alike.

Cons

  • Healthcare in Thailand has come a long way from the inefficient system it had a quarter of a century ago. Today, the Thai system is one of the most comprehensive in the world, but despite its proven track record it faces several hurdles. Rising costs due to the large number of chronic disease and an increasingly older population are starting to affect the system.
  • Pharma products that assist with diagnostics and prevention as well as management of chronic diseases could be key for the future of the system.  These products have already been launched in other parts of the world it’s just a matter of entering Thailand before it’s too late.

Brazil

The other region, which historically moves a few steps behind the US and Canada in terms of development, is catching up fast. Brazil seems to be in everyone’s mind these days, from the 2014 World Cup to street protests and diplomatic disputes. But an often untold aspect of Brazil’s economy is its healthcare industry.

Pros

  • The country spends 8.9 percent of its $2.4 trillion-dollar GDP on healthcare and its pharma market is expected to be the 4th largest in the world by 2016.  According to the Brazilian Association of National Laboratories Distributors (Abradilan), drug sales could increase 15-20 percent by 2014.
  • More importantly, Brazil’s large middle class is spending more on healthcare, 42 percent of domestic pharma drug sales come from this group. The time to target this class directly has come for the first time in the country’s recent history. More importantly, the current economic and social situation in the country has moved consumers from spending on treatment to spending also on prevention of chronic diseases.

Cons

  • Despite the global spotlight, the land of samba has an unstable digital structure, prompting old school methods in order to enter and communicate effectively.  In fact, a report by Flanders Investment put Brazil in 9th place in industry marketing costs with $22 billion over 4-year period from 2007-2011. The market presents a challenge.

Risk or no risk, companies are considering entering this market. Just last month, Brazil’s own Hypermarcas posted record earnings despite stagnant economic growth, showing that the market is ready to boom.

business travel

These numbers paint an interesting picture on pharma worldwide and especially these two regions, which could become keys in the next several years. The next question is: who’s up from some travel?