How fast will the OTC & Pharma TRIUMPH Markets grow?

According to an older study on the BRIC and MIST countries, the possibilities for enterprises and investors to gain a foothold with their new products and brands in those markets are nearly unlimited. However, the acronyms are not specifically cut out for the OTC & Pharma industry. Some countries that are very interesting for the healthcare industry are not considered on the BRIC and MIST country list.

So what are the countries with the most promising future healthcare market potential?

A comprehensive new study on the growing OTC & pharmaceutical markets (Emerging Markets) defined the growing ‘TRIUMPH Markets’.

Behind the new TRIUMPH study are the leading Healthcare experts in the Emerging Pharma Markets – the Berlin-based Chameleon Pharma Consulting (CPC).

The experts at CPC determined that a realistic assessment of a potential and quick market entry into the growing OTC & pharmaceutical markets could be met using the following criteria:

  • Present and future growth potential
  • Stage of development of the local healthcare system
  • Complication of market access
  • Legal issues, such as patent and intellectual property protection
  • Regulatory aspects

The TRIUMPH abbreviation stands for Turkey, Russia, Indonesia, Ukraine, Mexico and the Philippines. Over the last few years, these countries have passed through enormous developments. Higher life expectancy, improving local healthcare systems and therapy possibilities have all fostered consumers’ and patients’ readiness to manage and invest more money in personal healthcare.

What’s more, the markets are not yet overrun, and registering and importing new products requires comparatively little bureaucratic effort. Unlike the countries of Western Europe (i.e., Germany, France, Spain, the UK), which are characterised by minimal or even negative development, the TRIUMPH markets show an average growth of 12–18%. Self-medication products in these countries are of great importance, especially as the share of OTC products makes up to 50% of the total market in countries like Russia and Ukraine.

With a total population of 717 million people and a total health market value of about US $57.4 billion, the TRIUMPH countries offer optimal conditions for new brands and Pharma products to generate additional turnover and market shares.

However, developing successful exports is not as simple as choosing a country with big potential. There are many hurdles to jump, and they have to be cleared the first time—after an initial unsuccessful product launch, it is not that easy to implement a successful re-launch or find another partner.

Companies are strapped for time; international or Export departments are often too busy with day-to-day business to systematically analyse target markets. The most successful Pharma companies are those that first compare the best 10–12 local best-fitting partners, meet 5–6 for a second round and finally choose from an interview with 1–2. This is the only way to know whether a mutually beneficial partnership can be established; often those partnerships hold for many decades.

This successful process – the ‘systematic local partner selection process’ – is difficult to implement alongside daily export activities. But new research shows that the top export companies analyse possible local partners and the market environment in detail before making a decision. Hiring experts to conduct the systematic partner search process saves time and money by allowing companies to avoid having several ‘getting-to-know-you’ meetings that usually lead to nothing. Independent Healthcare experts can help to systematically analyse initial parameters, offer transparency into local market conditions and help identify the partner best suited to your products in the desired TRIUMPH markets – often in only 10–12 weeks.

China and India are also markets that are undoubtedly growing. However, due to the lack of transparency in dealing with patents, IP rights and registration documents, these markets are also a challenge for even very experienced General Managers. Even multi-national Pharma Groups can be taken by surprise in China and India – take, for example, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, which was involved in a scandal over patent laws related to the cancer medicine Glivec.

Therefore, for a foreign OTC, cosmetic or Pharma company, it is critical to choose both the Emerging country and the local agents you’ll partner with there in a systematic way. This ensures more safety and protects against surprises with product registrations and patents, among other things.

The growing TRIUMPH markets are an OTC & Pharma variant of the growing Emerging Markets; there’s a good possibility to enter with success. Especially for medium-sized Healthcare enterprises, it is important to think globally and always look for opportunities for international market expansion. With a systematic selection process for fitting dynamic local partners in a new TRIUMPH country, success will be a given, and risk minimised.

The International & Export business is usually much more profitable than the home market. Any euro invested in the TRIUMPH markets is a good investment compared to money put in mature Western European markets.

However one has to check the above mentioned 5 business criteria. Furthermore the success or failure will depend on the detailed analysis of the specific product indication including commercial parameters on consumers, competition and trends, which will not be visible from just buying market data.