The Canadian pharmaceutical market is set to grow from $22.6 billion in 2016 to around $25 billion by 2021, representing a compound annual growth rate of 2%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company’s latest report states that Canada has a strong pharmaceutical industry footprint and is one of the leading locations for clinical trials. Global companies and biotechnology firms have increased their investments in academic industrial translational activities in Canada in recent years, and major pharmaceutical companies conduct a significant portion of their clinical trials there. It is this strong R&D and clinical trial environment that is driving the growth of the market, along with Canada’s increasing elderly population.
The country’s pharmaceutical industry is shifting towards externalized R&D via partnerships and collaborations, with the government setting up programs such as the Business-led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCEs), Centres of Excellence for Commercialization of Research (CECR) and other innovation initiatives such as the Structural Genomics Consortium.
The quality and expertise of Canada's research clinicians and healthcare sector is recognized globally, attracting partnership investment from companies like Johnson & Johnson and Teva in recent years.
In 2016, the value of the generic pharmaceutical market was $6.2 billion, with generic drugs accounting for around 70% of prescriptions in Canada, compared with 89% in the U.S. However, generic drug sales account for only 22.4% of the overall pharmaceutical market. The use of generic medicines saved nearly $20 billion for the government in 2016, and GlobalData expects the market to continue to grow as the government promotes generics usage and as quality perception improves among patients.