Meds and you

Updated 21 May 2013

The pharmaceutical industry at a glance

Read up on these interesting facts about the pharmaceutical industry.

  • The average drug developed by a major pharmaceutical company costs at least $4 billion, and it can be as much as $11 billion to bring to market (Forbes, February 2012).
  • The pharmaceutical industry contributed 1,58% to the South African GDP in the 2008/2009 financial year. The sector’s revenue was R36,1-billion of which exports were R2,5-billion. The industry employed an estimated 9 625 full-time staff (Deloitte report, February 2010). 
  • As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), healthcare expenditure amounts to approximately 8%, which is among the highest in the continent. The South African consumer spends approximately 1,9% of total household expenditure on medical and pharmaceutical products (Macquarie Research, May 2011). 
  • The inflation rate in South Africa was reported at 5,3% in August 2011. From 1981 until 2010, the average inflation rate (CPI) in South Africa was 10%, reaching an historical high of 2,8% in January 1986 and a record low of 0,10% in January 2004 (Statistics SA). 
  • In 2010, medical Consumer Price Index (CPI) growth overtook CPI growth, which means the cost of accessing medical care got more expensive. 
  • The private sector market (insured population) is estimated by to be R24-billion (IMS August 2011). 
  • The Department of Health’s 10 Point Plan focuses attention on non¬communicable diseases. Hypertension is the most common chronic health condition as diagnosed by a doctor or nurse in South Africa (Stats SA, 2010). 
  • It is expected there will be a significant increase in the total number of people on chronic medication by 2025: from 6,6-million using ASSA 2003 to 8,6-million people using ASSA 2008 (131% of the earlier estimate). This is made up of a 10% increase in those being treated for the 25 CDL chronic diseases and a doubling of those needing ARVs. 
  • The period between 2010 and 2015 will be the toughest for innovator companies. Many global blockbusters will lose their patent protection during this period. In 2010 products with an annual market value of R50-million lost their patent protection. This trend continued in 2011 where a further R40-million of branded products lost their protection and now face generic competition (IMS Health).
IPASA: An overview of the Member Companies
With many of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies among its members, IPASA is a trade association that represents a diverse group of organisations that operate across a range of healthcare categories in South Africa. Membership is open to pharmaceutical companies that are research-based, thereby manufacturing and/or marketing innovative medicines rather than generics.

Abbott Laboratories
Abbott is an American global pharmaceuticals and health care products company, which has 90,000 employees and operates in over 130 countries. The company headquarters are in Abbott Park, North Chicago, Illinois, and was founded by Chicago physician, Dr. Wallace Calvin Abbott in 1888. Abbott's in vitro diagnostics business is a world leader in immunoassays and blood screening. Abbott's broad range of medical tests and diagnostic instrument systems are used worldwide by hospitals, laboratories, blood banks, and physician offices to diagnose and monitor diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, cancer, heart failure and metabolic disorders, as well as assess other important indicators of general health.

AbbVie began as the pharmaceutical leader, Abbott, which was founded in 1888 by Chicago physician, Dr. Wallace Abbott. Since then, Abbott has evolved to become a global healthcare leader, delivering innovative pharmaceutical, nutritional, diagnostic, and medical products to people in more than 150 countries. AbbVie have the expertise of a proven pharmaceutical leader and the focus and passion of an entrepreneur and innovator. The result is something rare in health care today – a global biopharmaceutical company that has the ability to discover and advance innovative therapies and meet the health needs of people and societies around the globe.

Alcon was founded in 1945 as a small ophthalmic shop in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. Since then, Alcon has grown and is helping people see the world better through advanced surgical, pharmaceutical and vision care products. Alcon serves eye care professionals and their patients in more than 180 countries, reaching 90% of the globe, to help millions of people see the world better with clarity and colour. Alcon offer a broad spectrum of eye care products and are organised into three businesses: Surgical, Pharmaceutical and Vision Care.

Allergan, Inc., with headquarters in Irvine, California, is a global specialty pharmaceutical company that develops and commercialises innovative products for the eye care, neuromodulator, skin care and medical aesthetics. In addition to its discovery-to¬development research programs, Allergan has global marketing and sales capabilities in over 100 countries that satisfy unmet medical needs and improve people's lives. Allergan's portfolio of products includes some of the most inventive medicines, devices, and procedures.

Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures, and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realise the new science’s promise by bringing safe, effective medicines from lab to manufacturing plant to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping people around the world in the fight against serious illnesses.

AstraZeneca was formed on 6 April 1999 through the merger of Astra AB of Sweden and Zeneca Group PLC of the UK – two companies with similar science-based cultures and a shared vision of the pharmaceutical industry. AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca employ around 51,700 people worldwide.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. The company’s products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time Bayer creates value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer in South Africa is a subsidiary of Bayer AG and plays a key role in Bayer’s African strategy, with more than 60% of the continent’s total sales generated here.

Boehringer Ingelheim
Founded in 1885 in Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim is a privately-owned company, which is active in 64 countries around the world. It entered the South African market in 1962 and is growing its network into sub-Saharan Africa. The organisation, which is considered one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies, is dedicated to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value, with key areas of interest in cardiology, respiratory and central nervous system (CNS). The South African company employs over 200 people.

Bristol-Myers Squibb
BMD is a global company that was established in New York, US in 1858. The organisation’s mission is to “discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases”. The company provides pharmaceuticals and biologics to various therapeutic areas, including oncology, metabolic disorders, immunology, CNS disorders and HIV/AIDS. Bristol-Myers Squibb has been active in South Africa for about 60 years, providing 17 products to the local population.

Covidien is large global healthcare products company and leading manufacturer of medical devices and supplies, diagnostic imaging agents and pharmaceuticals, with 2012 revenue of $11.9 billion. Covidien employs 43,000 employees worldwide in 70 countries, with products sold in over 140 countries. They have 51 maunfacturing facilities in 18 countries, and are dedicated to R&D, spending over $600 million in 2012. Covidien is committed to creating innovative medical solutions for better patient outcomes and delivering value through clinical leadership and excellence.

Eli Lilly
Founded by Eli Lilly in 1876, Lilly is the tenth largest pharmaceutical company in the world. Globally, Lilly has developed productive alliances and partnerships that advance its capacity to develop innovative medicines at reasonable costs. The company has a staff complement of approximately 39 000 across the globe, and its medicines are marketed in 143 countries. Lilly’s mission of making medicines that help people live longer, healthier and more active lives is supported through major research and development facilities in eight countries. In addition, this vision is also sustained by clinical trials conducted in more than 50 countries, including South Africa. Represented in South Africa for more than 73 years with a BBBEE level 6 rating, Lilly markets 54 lines and 19 products of Schedule 3 and above products in this country, focussing primarily on the neuroscience, endocrine, oncology and cardiovascular sectors.

Galderma was founded in 1981 as a joint venture between Nestlé and L'Oréal. Today, over Over 4200 employees work for Galderma throughout the world, with products distributed in over 70 countries. Approximately 19% revenues are invested annually to discover and develop new drugs and access innovative technologies. Galderma’s research efforts have allowed the company to issue 1 700 scientific publications, develop more than 550 inventions and file 5 500 patent applications and patents. They have four R&D centers (France, Sweden, United States and Japan), 4 manufacturing sites (France, Sweden, Canada and Brazil), and 31 affiliates in the major countries of the globe’s five continents.

GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare originated in the United States almost 140 years ago. These days, the global organisation is centred in Norway where it develops a broad range of products and services that enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases and other conditions earlier. The company’s vision for the future is to enable a new “early health” model of care, which is focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. GE Healthcare has operated in South Africa for 14 years where it markets three Schedule 2 and above products both within the country and to Botswana, Mauritius and Namibia.

Janssen Pharmaceutica
Janssen Pharmaceutica is a product of the merger of two companies, Janssen Pharmaceutica and Cilag. Janssen Pharmaceutica companies operate in virtually all countries of the world and are active in a number of therapeutic areas such as pain, psychiatry, neurology, gastrointestinal and fungal diseases. There are over 6,000 Janssen Pharmaceutica employees throughout Europe who develop and market innovative, high-quality medicines, and are present in virtually all countries in Europe and South Africa. These companies have a high degree of autonomy, and work closely with physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other healthcare professionals, but also with patients and caregivers, healthcare authorities, healthcare providers and payers.

Merck (Pty) Ltd is the and sales and support organisation of the globally operating group Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and provides the sub-Saharan African market with high quality pharmaceutical and chemical products. Merck (Pty) Ltd who take care of sales, distribution and technical support of a broad range of pharmaceutical, consumer health care and chemical products. The company prides itself on having had representatives in South Africa for more than 100 years and have been registered as an entity in their own right for more than 40 years. The local company has inherited its values from the parent in Germany.

MSD head office was established at 142 Pritchard Street, Johannesburg in 1960, and the production of pharmaceutical products began. MSD and Schering-Plough merged in 2009 to create a new company. Today, MSD are the second-largest pharmaceutical company in the world. A global leader in consumer products and animal care, MSD is working to address unmet health needs. MSD provides innovative medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and consumer and animal health products to help improve health and well-being. MSD works with customers in 140 countries to deliver broad-based healthcare solutions.

Norgine is a specialty pharmaceutical company that was founded in Europe in 1906 and which began operating in South Africa in 1981. Throughout its long history, the company has sought to develop and market high quality, innovative products for the benefit of both patients and healthcare practitioners. During the past 32 years, Norgine has focused on expanding its infrastructure and has moved to strengthen its research and development base. Operated by 22 locally based employees, the company markets seven products in South Africa (three Schedule 0 and four Schedule 3 and above). These include gastro-intestinal medicines, a product for bi-polar disorders and others to treat mouth ulcers and wax build up in ears.

Created in 1996, following the merger of the Swiss companies, Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz, Novartis operates in 140 countries worldwide, including South Africa. Focused solely on healthcare, the company offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines (Pharma division), consumer health products (Animal Health & OTC divisions), eye care (Alcon) and cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals (through Sandoz). Novartis Pharma has a broad portfolio of innovative medicines in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, neuroscience, metabolic bone disease, transplantation and ophthalmics, respiratory disease, pain management and oncology. The Pharma and Consumer Health businesses of Novartis South Africa (Pty) Ltd employ about 233 people, and represent more than 100 different brands (with over 60 Schedule 0 and 1, and an estimated 130 Schedule 2 and above products). or

Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk was created in 1989 through a merger of two Danish companies dating back to the 1920s. The company produces, in particular, diabetes care equipment and medications. Novo Nordisk is also involved with haemostasis management, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Novo Nordisk is researching pulmonary delivery systems for diabetic medications, and in the early stages of research into autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases, using technologies such as translational immunology and monoclonal antibodies. Company headquarters are in Denmark, with production facilities in seven countries, and affiliate offices in 76 countries.

Pfizer is largely considered the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company. Pfizer SA’s business consists of four divisions: Biopharmaceuticals; Animal Health; Nutritionals and Consumer Health. Pfizer’s diversified global healthcare portfolio includes human and animal biologicals, small molecule medicines and vaccines. This range includes medicines for cardio-vascular conditions, neuroscience, women’s health, urology, anti-infectives, oncology, biologicals, anti-inflammatory and pain, anti-coagulation, ophthalmology, vaccines and consumer health. As such, the company has over 100 prescription products, while imparting product and disease knowledge to over 4 000 healthcare professionals in South Africa and 10 additional African countries. Four of the company’s top 10 products are world-leading pharmaceuticals, which were discovered at the Pfizer Discovery and Development campus. Pfizer markets 11 Schedule 0 and 1 products (excluding animal health) and 249 Schedule 2 and above products.

For more than 110 years, Roche has played a pioneering role in healthcare. Innovation remains its answer to medical challenges. Through research, Roche creates, state-of-the¬art diagnostics and pioneering medicines that help millions of people around the world. Roche constantly strives for scientific excellence so that it can continue developing effective therapeutic options where previously there were none. As the world’s largest biopharmaceutical company and the number one supplier of in vitro diagnostics, Roche has brought many highly effective drugs to the market, including the industry’s leading portfolio of cancer medicines. Roche is also active in other major therapeutic areas with a high medical needs such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases, virology, metabolic disorders and diseases of the central nervous system. The company has operated in South Africa since 1947. Roche supplies two Schedule 0 and 1 products and more than 100 Schedule 2 and above products in South Africa.

Focussing on patients’ needs for more than 100 years, global healthcare company Sanofi offers a broad portfolio of pharmaceutical products with a particular focus on diabetes, thrombosis, cardiovascular, oncology, tuberculosis, central nervous system, generics and neutraceuticals. Moreover, Sanofi is considered a world leader in vaccines. The company has been active in South Africa for more than 70 years. It markets more than 100 products both here and to other sub-Saharan countries. The South African operation, with its head office in Gauteng and offices in Free State, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, employs 586 people. It supplies 31 Schedule 1 and 0 products and 90 Schedule 2 and above products, and has a BBEEE level 6 rating.

Servier Laboratories
Servier, founded in 1954, is the first French independent pharmaceutical group. Present in 140 countries, with more than 20 000 employees, including close to 3000 in R&D, Servier is a privately owned French pharmaceutical company that specialises in medication for cardiological and rheumatological conditions, as well as for diabetes and clinical depression. Servier is the leading French independent pharmaceutical company, and the second largest French pharmaceutical company worldwide. It has branches in 140 countries, achieving 82% of its sales outside France. The company reportedly invests a little under 25% of its turnover in research and development, which occupies 3,000 of its 20,000 employees worldwide. The Servier Clinical Support, which produces drugs for clinical trials, is the largest unit of its kind in Europe.

Nycomed became a Takeda company in September 2011. Takeda is a research-based global company with a primary focus on pharmaceuticals. The combined company has an active commercial presence in the therapeutic areas of metabolic diseases, gastroenterology, oncology, cardiovascular health, CNS diseases, inflammatory and immune disorders, respiratory diseases and pain management. The combined company has a presence in more than 70 countries worldwide, and is ranked twelfth by global Rx sales, fourteenth in the BRIC countries and eighteenth in Europe. As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the global leaders of the industry, Takeda is committed to striving towards better health for patients worldwide through leading innovation in medicine.

(IPASA press release)

(Picture: colourful pills from Shutterstock)


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.