Australia is one of the richest healthcare markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The market ranks as theeleventh largest in the world, and is quick to adopt new and innovative healthcare technologies.
The Australian public healthcare landscape is a mixture of federal and state-based initiatives, policies and budgets, and the majority of health services are delivered at the state level.
The Australian OTC pharmaceuticals market had total revenues of US $3.7 billion in 2012, representing a CAGR of 3.9% between 2008 and 2012.
In 2012, the traditional medicines segment was the market’s most lucrative, with total revenues of US $1.3 billion—35.1% of the market’s total value.
The country’s healthcare expenditures will continue to increase as the population ages and the need for government subsidies on more drugs to treat chronic, non-communicable diseases increases.
Such a rise in expenditures will attract pharmaceutical firms despite the low growth potential in the developed market. However, given the poor fiscal outlook in the country’s general economy, we believe such a generous healthcare system will be unsustainable over the long term, and the country will continue to seek out cost-cutting measures, negatively affecting the earning potential of pharmaceutical firms there. The Australian medical device industry can list among its distinct competitive advantages its reduced time to market compared with drug discovery, its comparatively highly skilled workforce and its geographic position within the Asia-Pacific region. Entering the Australian healthcare market, with its size and diverse opportunities, is an exciting challenge for western OTC and Pharma companies.