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Pharmaceutical industry in Brazil - Statistics & Facts

With the inevitable emergence of new diseases worldwide, such as the coronavirus, research, development, and production of new drugs are essential for maintaining and improving basic public health conditions, a goal that is considered a development priority. As a result, the pharmaceutical industry has always been and will remain one of the most important businesses in the world, reaching a revenue of more than 1.25 trillion U.S. dollars in 2019. In Latin America, Brazil is the only country that ranks amongst the top pharmaceutical markets worldwide. With a global market share of approximately 2.6 percent, the country’s pharmaceutical industry reached a total revenue of almost 32 billion U.S. dollars.

The Brazilian pharmaceutical business

The drug production market, as part of the manufacturing industry, is very important for Brazil’s economy in terms of value added and employment generation. With a production value of more than 41 billion Brazilian reals in 2018, the Brazilian pharmaceutical market employed nearly 993 thousand people in the wholesale and retail segments, divided among almost 128 thousand companies. In addition, expenditures on salaries and remunerations reached approximately 25 billion Brazilian reals in both segments combined.

An industry run mostly by national companies

In regard to leading pharmaceutical producers, the U.S. company Pfizer or the Swiss corporation Roche stand out, as they account together for more than 101 billion dollars of the global industry revenue in 2019. However, in the Brazilian market, domestic companies lead the business and rank highly on the list of producers. For example, Aché Laboratorios Farmacéuticos S.A., a prominent 100-percent Brazilian-owned pharmaceutical corporation, reached a revenue of more than four billion Brazilian, with sales reaching more than 210 million units of pharmaceutical products in 2019. Prescription drugs made up more than 75 percent of the company’s sales, reaching a value of over three billion Brazilian reals.

Research and development

More than in any other industry, the pharmaceutical sector is highly dependent on scientific research and development. Clinical trials, in particular, are a crucial step in the process of new drugs becoming available on the market. In 2018, Brazil accounted for more than two percent of the total clinical trials worldwide, against rates such as nearly 35 percent in the U.S., or more than 23 percent in China. However, on a regional level, Brazil is the Latin American country where most clinical trials were performed, as well as being the country with the second largest number of trial participants, after Argentina.

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Pharmaceutical industry in Brazil

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