The rapid growth of the orphan drug market is a key factor responsible for driving the pharmaceutical industry. The growth of orphan drugs is anticipated to double by the end of 2023. This is due to the research and development programs becoming more focused toward narrow patient populations, and are demonstrated by larger unmet needs. North America and Europe is expected continue leading the pharmaceutical industry, although the emerging economies such as India, China and Japan among others demonstrated higher growth rates.

According to Insights and Reports, pharmaceutical sales in the U.S. crossed the US$ 450 billion mark in 2017. However, the country recorded a single digit growth during the year. Emerging economies such as India, China, Russia, Brazil and Argentina among others recorded a double-digit growth during2017 year and is expected to demonstrate similar growth in the coming years. China is expected to be one of the key markets for the pharmaceutical sector in the future. It is expected that China will start exporting medicines by 2025. The pharmaceutical companies based in China has obtained FDA approvals for more than 35 generic drugs in 2018, up from 22 approvals in 2016.

Pfizer Inc. and Novartis are the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Other key players in this sector include Merck, Roche and Sanofi. Several companies spend a fair amount of their revenue on advertising, more than research and development due to increased pressure for sales, which often creates a rift between the needs of the companies and the public.