The pharmaceutical market in Spain is expected to rise in value from $23.7 billion in 2016 to $25.1 billion by 2021, research and consulting firm GlobalData noted in a report published in April 2017. The forecast represents a compound annual growth rate of close to 1%.
Growth is being driven by consolidation of the biotechnology sector, government support, an infrastructure that encourages innovation, the availability of highly qualified workforce, and favorable cost benefit ratio of human capita, said the report. The aging population is also thought to have a key role in driving Spain’s healthcare sector to 2021.
According to GlobalData, the introduction of tax incentives for R&D spending by the Spanish government has eased the impact of austerity measures introduced in 2010, and the pharmaceutical industry has, as a result, made some recovery. Following the introduction of price containment measures by the Spanish government—which included forming homogenous groups of substitutable products so that pharmacists can provide the cheapest drug, eliminating the two-year period that existed for pharmaceutical companies to reduce the price of their medicines below the reference price, and making it mandatory for pharmacists to dispense the cheapest available medicine—the pharmaceutical market contracted in value by 13.7% between 2010 and 2014.
In 2015, the Spanish pharmaceutical industry invested $1.2 billion in R&D following the introduction of tax incentives, a move that has created a strong R&D base. The demand for innovative medicines is expected to help boost the local pharmaceutical market.
The government is also investing in the implementation of electronic clinical records and the use of information and communication technology to integrate the services provided by public hospitals with those of the National Health System (Sistema Nacional de Salud, SNS). These efforts will be a boon to the industry. The introduction of e-health services allows patients to make appointments and obtain prescriptions online, improving access and thus driving the healthcare sector.