Dear Colleagues!  Today is Pharma Veterans Blog Post #118. Pharma Veterans shares your wealth of knowledge and wisdom with others for the benefit of entire Pharma Community. It aims to recognize and celebrate the Pharma Industry Professionals. Pharma Veterans Blog is published by Asrar Qureshi on WordPress, the top blog site. Please share your stories, ideas and thoughts. Please email to for publishing your contributions here.

Continued from last……

I shall discuss International Marketing & Sales in some detail so that my readers get a fair idea of this segment of business.

International business is much less understood as compared to domestic marketing. It is because there is a divide between the two. It is interesting that people move from domestic to international business but rarely move back. It is the ‘other side’ from which normally there is no return. There is a large population in domestic market and a tiny group in international business. The particles move from higher concentration to lower concentration but cannot come back. Anyway, this is not really the point of discussion.

I tried to understand the working of international business and talked to some of the veterans. I am grateful to them for their knowledge sharing. It was still sketchy though. I had a unique privilege as I dealt with export (international business) and in-licensing/import both. I got a view of both.

The Pharma World At Large

The world pharma market has reached over a trillion. About 35% is North America alone. Around 22% is Western Europe, 10% is China, 9% is Japan, 4% is Russia and the balance 20% is Rest of World. The distribution of pharma market is not equitable, but it is in line with inequitable distribution of resources.

From regulatory view, there are highly regulated countries (North America, Europe, Australia, Japan) which carry the highest standards. Then there are moderately regulated countries like some parts of middle east and far east and eastern Europe. Rest of World comprises of least regulated countries. The highly regulated countries can export to least regulated countries, but the reverse cannot happen. Pakistan is among least regulated countries and therefore can only export to similar countries.

Export Regions for Pakistan Pharma

Following regions have been possible export destinations for Pakistan Pharma.

  • Close to home, Afghanistan
  • South Asia – Sri Lanka. (Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan are small and dominated by Indian Pharma. Pharma trade between Bangladesh and Pakistan could not develop due to political issues. India has highly developed industry of its own; over 25,000 companies versus 700 in Pakistan)
  • Southeast Asia – Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines. (Laos is small; Thailand, Malaysia are not interested; Indonesia has a developed industry)
  • Central Asia – Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan. (Tajikistan, Turkmenistan are small; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan are upscale markets)
  • East Africa – Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan. (Ethiopia is difficult; Djibouti is tiny)
  • West Africa – Nigeria, Ghana. (Niger, Chad are small; Senegal is not interested; Gambia is tiny)
  • South Africa – South Africa is more regulated. (Other countries are small and fragmented)
  • North Africa – Egypt has its own industry; Libya is not interested; Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania are pro-Europe.
  • Central Africa – Cameroon may be. Other countries are small, fragmented and unsafe.
  • Middle East – Yemen was a good destination but is disturbed now. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Syria, Lebanon, Iran are not interested; Iraq is disturbed.
  • There are several more countries, in Africa and elsewhere but establishing and sustaining business there is challenging.
  • Some companies are venturing into eastern Europe like Ukraine, Belarus and even Russia. We wish them well.
  • Other countries are not favorable due mainly to regulatory reasons

I had the opportunity to travel to most of the possible destinations and some more. I researched the markets firsthand and learned about registration procedures and requirements.

To be continued……

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