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Big Pharma Looks To Africa For Next Growth Market As Economies Strengthen, Disease Burden Shifts

“Not only is [Africa’s] economic growth grabbing attention in boardrooms but the shifting nature of its disease burden is luring Big Pharma, as new opportunities open up for treating chronic diseases afflicting the middle classes, rather than just fire-fighting infection,” Reuters reports. According to data from IMS, a global health informatics and technology firm, “by 2016 pharmaceutical spending in Africa is expected to reach $30 billion, driven by a 10.6 percent annual growth rate that is second only to Asia and in line with Latin America,” the news agency writes, adding, “By 2020 the market will have more than doubled from current levels to $45 billion.”

“Although it is likely to remain a niche market, the promise of Africa is that it will continue to grow in the next decade as Asia and Latin America start to reach maturity,” according to Reuters. “The growth will be fueled by increasing economic wealth and demand for treatments for chronic diseases in a more urban, middle-class population,” the news agency writes, noting, “It is a major shift for the pharmaceutical industry, whose main role has been supplying drugs for infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV in Africa, often on a humanitarian basis” (Berton, 2/12).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.