Jun 7, 2001|
Vaccines Market: An overview
The pharmaceutical market worldwide is shifting focus from curative to preventive healthcare and vaccines are playing an increasingly important role. Vaccines are basically antigenic preparation used to stimulate the production of antibodies and procure immunity from one or several diseases. Worldwide, pharmaceutical companies are concentrating on engineered vaccines of international standards with high purity, efficacy and tolerability with no major side effects with the help of biotechnology.
The global vaccine market is worth around US$ 35 bn. In India, the vaccines market is estimated to be around Rs 2.7 bn, growing at a rate of more than 35%. Besides being a developing country, the rise in vaccines market in India has been mainly due to the entry of new players and new vaccines. The inclusion of Hepatitis B in the EPI (Extended Programme for Immunization) is resulting in mass vaccination and the market is expected to double in three years time frame. Apart from the pediatric market, around 60% of the adult vaccines market is supposed to be untapped. The volume in the Hepatitis B vaccine market alone is likely to witness growth of around 50%. However, due to stiff competition the value growth is expected to be only 15-18% through 2004.
The vaccines market is technology intensive and initial investments are high. However, replication costs are very low. No wonder multinational pharma companies control around 60% of the vaccines market. However, the entry of indigenously developed vaccines has already pushed the vaccine prices in India 30-40% lower. The Indian government is also promoting various eminent research bodies and encouraging the development of cost effective vaccines.
Cost-effective Indian companies like Shantha Biotech, Wockhardt, etc have initially driven the vaccines market in India. Awareness campaigns and introduction of combination vaccines are expected to drive growth in future. SmithKline Pharma for e.g. has launched a host of different combination vaccines, with combinations for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and DTP. Though the domestic market for vaccines is expected to grow over the next few years, the market is expected to witness price wars with steep competition. Innovation and effective marketing strategies will be the key to success in time to come.
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