The United States was the largest pharmaceutical market in 2018, generating a 40.4 percent share of total revenues worldwide. China established itself as the second-largest market with a sales share of 11.1 percent.
International differences in drug prices
The worldwide pharmaceutical market was valued at approximately 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars in 2018. Sales of pharmaceuticals in the United States generated 484.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, around 350 billion U.S. dollars more than any other country. One reason for the disparity between countries is the price of prescription medications: in the United States, the prices of select top drugs increased significantly between 2009 and 2015. Many pharmaceutical manufacturers argue that list prices need to be raised to not only recoup research costs but also to maintain profit margins because of the larger rebates negotiated by pharmacy benefits managers.
Prescription drug prices are a bitter pill to swallow
With an average spend of 1,220 U.S. dollars per person, the United States had the highest pharmaceutical spending per capita worldwide in 2018. Brand name medications are particularly expensive in the country: the average price of Humira in the United States was far higher than in other global markets in 2017. Branded drugs enjoy the protection of patents, and the lack of competition means both manufacturers and pharmacies can charge what the market will bear.
Market share of top 10 national pharmaceutical markets worldwide in 2018*
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BPI. (December 2, 2019). Market share of top 10 national pharmaceutical markets worldwide in 2018* [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved July 05, 2020, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/245473/market-share-of-the-leading-10-global-pharmaceutical-markets/
BPI. "Market share of top 10 national pharmaceutical markets worldwide in 2018*." Chart. December 2, 2019. Statista. Accessed July 05, 2020. https://www.statista.com/statistics/245473/market-share-of-the-leading-10-global-pharmaceutical-markets/
BPI. (2019). Market share of top 10 national pharmaceutical markets worldwide in 2018*. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: July 05, 2020. https://www.statista.com/statistics/245473/market-share-of-the-leading-10-global-pharmaceutical-markets/
BPI. "Market Share of Top 10 National Pharmaceutical Markets Worldwide in 2018*." Statista, Statista Inc., 2 Dec 2019, https://www.statista.com/statistics/245473/market-share-of-the-leading-10-global-pharmaceutical-markets/
BPI, Market share of top 10 national pharmaceutical markets worldwide in 2018* Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/245473/market-share-of-the-leading-10-global-pharmaceutical-markets/ (last visited July 05, 2020)