The Canadian pharma sector is one of the most innovative industries in Canada, and most of the multi-national pharma companies have multiple offices across the country. Due to its strong industry footprint and positive clinical trial environment, many global pharma companies have been increasing their investments in the pharma sector over the past few years contributing to the steady growth of the industry. As it stands, by 2030 the Canadian pharma market is set to reach nearly US$30bn in value at a CAGR of 2%. Canada has a strong research and development environment which is helping to further growth in this industry, and the establishment of government partnerships and collaborations with local businesses continues to bridge the gap between research and industry.
Generic medications dominate the market with generics accounting for over 70% of prescriptions in Canada, and by 2030 it is expected to increase to over 80%. The majority of medications are still dispensed by large retail pharmacy chains, and there are over 7,000 of these chain stores in Canada compared to just over 2,000 independent pharmacies.
In terms of healthcare spending, the Canadian Institute for Health Information has reported that total health spending in 2019 was approximately US$5,000 per person and represented 11.6% of the GDP. Due to the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as obesity and the overall aging population, healthcare spending is expected to increase within the next decade. Canada has a publicly funded healthcare system, meaning that for many health-related expenses, patients do not have to pay out-of-pocket. However, it is important to note that the healthcare system is not controlled nationally but rather it varies by the province/territory. If you are planning to enter the Canadian pharma market, the regional public and private reimbursement requirements must be considered and appropriately balanced to ensure success.