From a global point of the view, the Spanish market for pharmaceutical products was the tenth largest worldwide in the year 2013 by turnover in USD. As in so many other countries, the population in Spain is getting older and therefore also more prone to health problems. Chronic illnesses are an important factor here, plus the fact that the costs for those treatments for which the health insurance institutions no longer reimburse the whole amount are growing accordingly.
The market for products in the Consumer Healthcare sector is also on the rise. There are two reasons for this, which also influence this market segment: on the one hand there is a growing trend towards “self-medication” in Spain, and on the other hand some medicines and treatments are no longer paid for by the state health care system. There are also other factors at work on the market: an increasing number of generics being prescribed, cutbacks in spending on pharmaceutical products, and governmental control of the pharmaceutical budget at a central and regional level.
A glance at the relevant figures shows that expenditure on pharmaceutical products declined between 2010 and 2012. The reason for this was new legislation in the wake of the economic crisis, with which the government enforced a reduction in the price of pharmaceutical products in the public sector in the years 2010 and 2011. Combined with the already reduced pharmaceutical budget, this led to the market volume shrinking by more than six percent a year. Sales went down even further in the year 2012 due to further cutbacks. Following a stable 2013, sales picked up again in the year 2014, and last year they stood at around EUR 18,500 million. An important fact, however, is that the generics market increased over the entire period. Here too it is worth taking a closer look, because while the proportion of branded products in the pharmaceutical sector declined by 18.4 percent in the last four years, the proportion of generics rose by 45.9 percent. In the meantime, generics account for 40 percent of the packaging units sold, a trend which will continue in the years to come, and that will mean even greater pressure on prices.