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IMS Health (NYSE: RX) has upped its count of “pharmerging” countries to 17 high-growth pharmaceutical markets. Previously, only seven markets qualified. According to IMS Health, these 17 countries represent $90 billion of increased pharmaceutical spending during 2009-13, collectively offering 48% of the growth in the market in 2013. China is the most significant opportunity of the 17, a market that is “in a league of its own,” in the words of the healthcare consultancy company.

The analysis is part of the findings in a new IMS Health paper (see report) entitled “Pharmerging Shakeup.”

The 17 pharmerging markets share the common characteristics of “strong growth prospects fueled by rising GDPs, expanding access to healthcare, and in many cases, an improving regulatory environment," according to IMS Health. The growing importance of the new markets causes – and is partly caused by – the increasing value of generic drugs, changing the balance between generic and innovative products.

IMS breaks up the 17 pharmerging markets into three tiers. China is alone in Tier 1. IMS predicts that China will become the world’s third-largest pharma market next year, a big improvement from its position as number 8 in 2006. Its revenues will increase over $40 billion by 2013. That is the same improvement expected in the US during the same time period. Most of the increase will be in branded generic products from domestic companies, while innovative pharma products from multinationals will flourish in the PRC’s largest urban centers.

IMS includes Brazil, Russia and India in Tier 2. Each of these countries will add $5-$15 billion in pharma revenues by 2013

Tier 3: is made up of 13 "Fast Followers”: Venezuela, Poland, Argentina, Turkey, Mexico, Vietnam, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Romania, Egypt, Pakistan and the Ukraine.

“The key essentials are in place for the industry to drive new opportunities within each tier of the pharmerging markets,” said David Campbell, senior principal, Pharmerging Markets, IMS. “Our experience points to the clear advantages that exist for the early movers.”

In IMS’s terminology, a country must have a minimum per-capita GDP of $25,000 to qualify as a developed country. The pharmerging markets are subdivided using a composite of macroeconomic metrics and market data, including GDP and forecasts from IMS Market Prognosis[TM], the company’s forecasting publications.

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Source: China Leads 'Pharmerging' Countries