Pharma market in Poland set to rebound in 2013

More information on this topic is presented in the PMR report:

In 2012, the pharmacy market in Poland has recorded negative growth for the first time in many years and fell 6% year on year. These developments were mostly driven by the entry into force of the Reimbursement Act, which was the main reason behind the hefty fall of 23% in the value of sales generated by the segment of reimbursed pharmaceuticals in 2012. The market is forecast to show positive growth in 2013, according to the findings of our latest report entitled “Pharmaceutical and healthcare market in Poland 2013. Development forecasts for 2013-2015”.

The market is set to grow by more than 4% in 2013

According to our forecasts, in 2013, the pharmacy market growth rate will be positive, equalling around 4%. The recovery of pharmacy sales will be connected chiefly with the scarce resource effect from 2012. Before the Reimbursement Act came into force, in Q4 2011 we had observed panic buying and significant sales growth. This was reflected in a significant drop in sales at the beginning of 2012. In January 2012, pharmacy sales declined by 17% year on year. Therefore, in January 2013 the rate of market growth was very high.
In 2013, the factors that had a negative impact on the market in 2012, such as decrease in sales in the segment of reimbursed drugs, frequent changes on the lists of reimbursed drugs or further price reductions, will continue to prevail. In the 2014-2015 period, we predict a further stability of the pharmacy sales in Poland and the growth rate at 4.5-5.5%. In general, 2013-2015 CAGR will amount to 4.7% and the market value will be in excess of PLN 30bn (€7bn) in 2015.


Smallest categories to grow the fastest

In 2012, sales drops were observed for a majority of ATC categories – with the largest in the category of drugs used in blood and blood forming organs and in the case of antineoplastic and immunomodulating agents, as a consequence of changes on the lists of reimbursed drugs as well as reductions of drug prices. In the past two years similar trends were seen in all main therapeutic categories: a sudden sales rise in Q4 2011, sales drop in Q1 2012 and keeping a relatively low level of sales throughout 2012.
According to our forecasts, the smallest ATC categories will be the ones to develop fastest in 2013-2015 – antiparasitic products and sensory organs.

Funding latest-generation oncological drugs poses problem

Oncological pharmaceuticals and immunosuppressive drugs were the driving force pushing the growth of the pharmaceutical market in 2008-2009. The main reason for the growth was the change in the status of immunosuppressive drugs from the category of medicines used in hospital care to drugs available in pharmacies. Nevertheless, in 2012, the pharmacy sales of antineoplastic and immunomodulating agents fell most significantly from all categories, by nearly one-fourth. This resulted primarily from considerable reductions of prices of oncological drugs following the entry into force of the Reimbursement Act.
According to our forecasts, despite a growing incidence of cancer (according to the Oncology Centre, by 2025 there will be an increase in incidence by 43% in men and by 36% in women, compared with 2009), the growth changes in this category of pharmacy sales will be scarce. The biggest problem facing the pharmaceutical market in Poland is the funding of latest-generation oncological drugs.
According to the National Cancer Registry, the incidence of cancer grows – it reached more than 140,000 cases in 2010. Compared to the EU average, Poland has a low incidence of cancer, though the mortality rate is high.
The most frequent type of neoplasm for the whole population is bronchus and lung cancer, though the incidence of this neoplasm has been decreasing for 15 years. This type of neoplasm is the first most frequent in men and second in women. An increase in the incidence of this cancer in females has been observed as women born between 1940 and 1960, many of whom used to be or still are smokers, are now entering the age bracket at the greatest risk of cancer. Although the number of new cases of breast cancer fell in 2010, in a group of women aged 45-64 years this tumour accounted for almost half of deaths from malignant neoplasms.
More than half of new cases of cancer are reported in people aged over 60 years. Nevertheless, the morbidity among the working age people has been increasing year on year. For instance, in 2010 the number of new cases in men aged 35-39 rose by nearly 10%, compared with 2009.

Cardiovascular system diseases are the most frequent cause of death

Since 1991 a drop in mortality caused by cardiovascular system (circulatory system) diseases has been observed along with a diminished share of deaths resulting from these disorders in general number of deaths. According to PZH estimates, longer life expectancy in 1991-2010 for 51% of Polish men and 61% of Polish women was a consequence of a decline in mortality from diseases of the circulatory system. Notwithstanding that cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death in Poland.
As the segment steadily becomes saturated and because of the state’s policy which has been stimulating the sales of cheaper medications, we do not expect this drug category to see dynamic, double-digit, growth in the upcoming future (2013-2015). This, however, does not mean that demand for medications used to prevent and treat diseases of the cardiovascular system will fall.

More information on this topic is presented in the PMR report:
Pharmaceutical and healthcare market in Poland 2013. Development forecasts for 2013-2015