Brazil is the 8th largest world market for medicine in terms of revenue. The consumption of drugs in the retail market represents about 70% of the pharmaceutical industry and over the past four years there has been a growth of 45% of drugs sold by pharmacies.
According to Interfarma, which stands for Association of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers, revenue in 2010 was BRL 28.7 billion and in 2014 the number increased to BRL 41,8 billion. In the first three months of 2015, pharmaceutical market sales grew 12% compared to the same period in 2014, and revenue so far is about BRL 10 billion. In addition, there was an expansion of 12% in exports.
This growth was in the areas of brand name drugs, similar medicinal products and generics. However, the market share of each drug, has changed. Brand name drugs participation decreased by 5% and currently represents only 39%. On the other hand, similars medicinal products have the equivalent growth of 5%, representing 48% of market share. Currently, there are about 540 pharmaceutical companies registered in Brazil, 90 of which are producers of similar medicines.
Generic drugs continued with the same market share of 13%. The Brazilian market offers generic drugs for the treatment of various health problems such as cardiovascular system diseases, anti-infectives, digestive and central nervous system diseases. In addition, generic drugs must be at least 35% cheaper than the brand name drugs. In 2014, 871.7 million units of generic drugs were sold in the country generating revenue of BRL 13.7 billion in the sector.
Currently, there is a generic version for about 50% of all brand name drugs. Pharmacies are obliged by law to keep this list updated for the consumer. To improve the sales of generic medicine the Programa Farmácia Popular do Brasil was created, which is a government program that promotes greater access to cheaper or free medicine to everyone. The medication is also available through a network of partnerships with a private network of pharmacies, the program Aqui tem Farmácia Popular.
The granted discount can vary for different drugs. People can pay less for some drugs than for others, according to the type and price charged by the pharmacy. Medication for hypertension, diabetes and asthma, for example, are free.
According to IMS Health, short for International Medical Statistics, the growth in the biosimilars market is due to the partnership between the Ministry of Health and the pharmaceutical complex PharmaPraxis, in order to create about 25 biosimilar drugs in the country. The Brazilian industry has invested in the creation of innovative biological medicine which is considered more effective. Most sales of biosimilars medicine are for the treatment of cancer, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Medicine Consumption in Brazil
In Brazil, the sales growth in the pharmaceutical sector would be even greater were it not for the difficulty to access some medicine. About 74% of Brazilian medicines are bought and paid for by the individual, without government support. This means that the most complex and expensive drugs end up not reaching the majority of the population.
It is estimated that 50 million Brazilians have no access to these products. Of the total population consuming medication, 49% belong to the higher income classes and consume 84% of the total production, while the other 51%, belong to the lower income classes, which consume only 16% of the total supply of drugs.
Due to factors such as the exchange rate fluctuation, inflation and consequent adjustments in product prices, in 2015 the drugs price increased considerably, also hindering sales growth. According to the Regulatory Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Market, this year, over 9000 medicines have increased in price by up to 7.7%, which is the maximum adjustment allowed by manufacturers.
Pharmacies in Brazil
According to the Conselho Federal de Farmácia, which stands for Federal Pharmacy Council, besides the laboratories and distributors, there are more than 97 000 pharmacies in Brazil. It is 7 times more than the necessary amount recommended by the World Health Organization. Not surprisingly, Brazil is characterized as the country with the largest number of pharmacies worldwide. Pharmacies are the main way that drugs are distributed to the Brazilian population, while the rest is done through direct sales, divided approximately equally between private and public hospitals. The public hospitals preferably acquires generic drugs which are generally provided by small national laboratories and public official laboratories.
Main Pharmaceutical Companies in Brazil
Brazil has important multinational pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Novartis and Sanofi. Also, according to IMS Health, Brazilian companies have the highest revenue. The highest grossing of the companies is EMS Corp with annual revenue of USD 3.4 billion. The company also sold the most generic drugs in the country, which represents 62% of the total revenue.
Second in the ranking is Hypermarcas with annual revenue of USD 2.7 billion. The company is third among the largest generic suppliers in Brazil, with USD 817 million in revenue. Aché and Eurofarma are two other Brazilian companies that are among the 10 most important in the pharmaceutical market.
Aché is in fifth place earning USD 1.5 billion in medicine sales, with USD 433 million revenue from the sales of generic medicine. Eurofarma is in sixth place with an annual revenue of USD 1.3 billion in drug sales and is in fourth place among the top-selling generic drugs in the country with USD 627 million in total.
Other recognisable companies in the Brazilian pharmaceutical market are Sanofi, Novartis, Takeda, Bayer, Pfizer and GSK.