Already established as one of the world’s leading markets for innovative and patented drugs, Japan is set to grow rapidly in 2019, partly as a result of a dramatic uptake in generics and biosimilars.
Japan’s pharmaceutical industry has long centred on strong innovation and patented drugs, but we are now observing a dramatic increase in generics and biosimilars in the market
Laura Murina, CPhI Japan
Ahead of the CPhI Japan 2019 conference in March, a new CPhI report predicts that Japan will be the second fastest growing mature market for solid dose drugs in 2019 (10 percent growth up from 4.75 percent in 2018) and the second fastest global market for growth in biologics (7.5 percent growth), behind only the USA (7.9 percent growth). This forecast places Japan ahead of all EU nations as well as South Korea.
However, this strong growth is not being driven solely by innovative and expensive biologics. As Laura Murina, brand manager for CPhI Japan points out, “Japan’s pharmaceutical industry has long centred on strong innovation and patented drugs, but we are now observing a dramatic increase in generics and biosimilars in the market.”
More broadly, the wave of confidence sweeping through the domestic market is increasingly emboldening Japanese firms to look towards exporting their products. Indeed, 2019 is set to be the first year in which Japan’s biggest pharma companies gain 50 percent of their sales from overseas.
With international collaborations increasing, there are clearly now more partnering opportunities in the market than ever before
Nobuaki Nito, UBM Japan
The CPhI report suggests that the increasing internationalization of Japanese pharma – both inbound and outbound – is being driven by deregulation and the opening-up of accelerated approval pathways, along with the facts that Japan boasts both a rapidly growing generics market and an R&D segment that remains at the forefront of global pharma innovation.
UBM Japan’s Nobuaki Nito notes that, “what is most exciting is that with international collaborations increasing, there are clearly now more partnering opportunities in the market than ever before.”