On a global basis, the pharmaceutical sector grew more than 9% in 2003, reaching a value of $466bn (source: TMS World Review 2004).

The North American market is the largest, and was worth almost $230bn in 2003, with sales rising by 11% from 2002.


European sales growth was lower at 9%, reaching almost $130bn. Central and eastern European sales grew by 14%, whereas western European sales growth was a more modest 8%.

Outside of Japan, growth in Asia Pacific reached 12%. Europe, Japan and North America still account for the bulk of the global market with a massive 88% overall share, and more than 20 drugs have now reached sales of more than $2bn each.

FDI in the third quarter of 2004 appears finally to be reflecting this robust rate of market growth.

While investment levels were down in the first half of the year, third-quarter investment has increased on a global basis (according to IBM-PLI GILD data), by a massive 80% compared with the same period in 2003.

On a European basis, FDI projects have increased 75% on the same period, according to figures from Ernst & Young’s European Investment Monitor.

This upturn in recorded FDI projects effectively turns around the whole sector, which is now up by about 2% year on year.

This is still a long way short of the market’s growth in commercial terms but it represents a real move in the right direction.


Peter Lemagnen is a director of Oxford Intelligence.

E-mail: peter.lemagnen@oxint.com