Germany is the world’s third largest pharmaceutical market, behind the United States and Japan. Its economy depends heavily on exports and was therefore hit hard by the global downturn. According to the Economist intelligence Unit (EIU), Germany’s economy showed early signs of recovery in 2009.
Although pharmaceutical market growth has slowed in recent years as a consequence of government cost-containment measures, the country’s pharmaceutical expenditures in the past years continued to grow. According to analysts, the market for pharmaceutical products is expected to increase with an average annual growth rate of 3.5% until 2013. Due to an ageing population (20% of the population is 65 and older) and the associated increase in demand for elderly care, demand for pharmaceuticals is likely to further increase over the coming years. Cost containment, reference pricing, manufacturers’ rebates and consolidation among pharmacies and insurances remain hot topics in this industry. Major supplier countries to Germany are Ireland, the United States, Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Germany has roughly 878 pharmaceutical manufacturers and an additional 402 biotechnology firms specializing in the development of pharmaceuticals. 93% of German pharmaceutical manufacturers have less than 500 employees. The German pharmaceutical market is very competitive and price-oriented. The exclusion of non-prescription drugs from reimbursement, the expansion of mail order supplies and multiple ownerships continue to further encourage competition. In Germany, trade fairs play an extraordinarily large role in product marketing. U.S. companies wishing to penetrate the German market often make their first approach at major trade fairs. For U.S. manufacturers and exporters wishing to sell in Germany (and in Europe) it is important to exhibit at one of Germany’s major international fairs. Exhibiting at fairs can bring direct sales, but more significantly, it can be one of the least expensive ways to test the market’s receptivity for pharmaceutical products. U.S. companies may want to consider attending the following show:
The U.S. Commercial Service in Germany provides counseling, market research, and other support services to U.S. exhibitors before, during and after these shows. Please let us know how we may be of assistance to your business objectives, whether or not specifically related to this trade fair.
By Anette Salama