Inhalation products in emerging markets: Is it really any easier?

David Howlett

There are numerous articles and publications (1) (2; 3) (4) which point to “emerging markets” offering significant potential for companies of all shapes and sizes. This theme has regularly been carried through in to discussions related to inhalation products. On the face of it to an organization with an established product or service the attraction of a significant un-met need/ population when coupled with a less tortuous regulatory pathway can’t be ignored. Equally for a company established in those markets where margins may be challenging, the attraction of “margin multiples growth” is a significant justification for investing for export growth. However as is often the case the reality of the situation in transfer in either direction is not that clear cut. Commercially developing a strategy for expanding current markets (in either direction (from or to a developed market)) makes sense, but any strategy has to consider many factors, some of which are easy to quantify some are less tangible and therefore more challenging. Many companies with a manufacturing base in these emerging markets have developed their technical and quality systems to a point at which they believe they can compete globally, however the constantly changing regulatory expectations in some markets can sometimes produce un-wanted surprises. This presentation seeks by use of example and reference to give an overview of the types of considerations which need to be made and how these can impact on planning and strategy.

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