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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.