A newly published report estimates that the pharmaceuticals market in Africa is expected to reach a business opportunity of $45 billion in 2020, propelled by a convergence of changing economic profiles, rapid urbanisation, increased healthcare spending and investment, and increasing incidence of chronic lifestyle diseases.

The tropical climate of Africa makes the continent the largest reservoir of infectious diseases, particularly malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), besides frequent outbreaks of polio, meningitis, cholera, pandemic influenza, yellow fever, measles, hepatitis, and tetanus. With the increasing adoption of Western lifestyle in Africa, there has been a paradigm shift in the burden of illness towards non-communicable diseases (NCDs), driving the demand for chronic prescription drugs.

While continuing to suffer from infectious and parasitic illness, lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer will witness high growth rates throughout the forecast period. The World Health Organisation predicts that the proportional contribution of NCDs to the healthcare burden in Africa will rise by 21% through 2030. The growing middle class is a key driving force for pharmaceuticals spending. Limited affordability of governments and the general population for healthcare and pharmaceuticals and a high reliance on donor funding will be the major market restraints.

Africa is in a transition phase, on its way to achieving adherence to global standards, such as the WHO pre-qualification for manufacturing. Local production is regarded as a key strategy for sustained access to quality-assured medicines for the long term. The regulatory environment for manufacturing in regions such as East Africa seems to grow rapidly, owing to regional harmonisation. Healthcare coverage is expected to expand to a greater proportion of the population through National Health Insurance (NHI) initiatives, as well as through memberships with private health insurance providers, particularly among the emerging middle class.

South Africa remains as the best-established region for pharmaceutical manufacturing in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the local manufacturing markets in East and West Africa are relatively well developed and positioned to grow. A bulk of Africa-based pharmaceutical companies that are developing medicines have simple formulations and mixtures, which are easy to do.

Technology transfer is paramount to developing the manufacturing sector in Africa, particularly as the disease burden is changing. There is a paradigm shift coming from the lower end to the higher end of adoption of complex formulations, in line with treatment guidelines, especially in HIV and AIDS and NCDs.

The report focuses on two fast-growing pharmaceutical markets in sub-Saharan Africa: Kenya and Nigeria.

A brief competitive overview, along with the pricing and regulatory environment is provided for each country. Revenues and growth forecasts, insights on market dynamics, and drivers and restraints for the pharmaceutical markets of Kenya and Nigeria are covered.

Market segmentation is done based on products (prescription—branded and generic and consumer care/over the counter) as well as therapeutic areas (haematology, oncology, men’s health, central nervous system (CNS), women’s health, diabetes, cardiovascular, dermatological, gastrointestinal, cough and cold, nutritional, analgesics, and anti-infectives).

The study also provides the business opportunities and strategic recommendations for the pharmaceuticals market.

Read the full report: Report Linker