China to drive growth of global pharma in ’11

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ChinaRecently, we reported that China was popular with investors looking to build new hospital empires or engage in M&A.

That includes China Healthcare Corp., an ambitious venture backed by Frist money, as in Frist of giant hospital chain HCA.

While it’s a bureaucratic  nightmare to get permission to build or operate there — or so we’ve been told — China’s growing middle class makes it worth the trouble, experts tells us.

Today, courtesy of industry journal FiercePharma, we learn that China is a major engine of growth for the pharmaceutical industry, too.

According to IMS Health, there should be $890 billion in worldwhile pharma sales next year, including $320 billion to $330 billion in the U.S. This represents five to seven percent growth over 2010, the group reports.

While the U.S. will see one to three percent growth, a handful of emerging markets should see 15 percent to 17 percent expansion next year, the researchers noted.

The standout in these emerging markets is China, where the drug market is projected to grow 25 percent to 27 percent to more than $50 billion next year. That would make it the world’s third-largest pharma market, according to IMS Health.

Look for pharmas to focus on China, along with other countries boasting an  expanding middle class such as India and Brazil.

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