Pharmaceutical Companies Aggressively Pursuing Africa”s Growing Middle Class


African Middle ClassBy Staff Blogger

Pharmaceutical companies everywhere have their eye on Africa. They see an opportunity to help those in need by offering drugs to the ever-growing middle class found in the urban areas of the major cities. Africa still has a relatively small market as compared to other markets around, but the heart of the cities are the key to money-making potential for drug companies.

Sarah Rickwood, Director of Thought Leadership at IMS Health states, “Urban centers have the highest concentration of the segments of the population that are more likely to be relatively wealthy, more likely to be educated and also possibly more likely to suffer from the chronic diseases of affluence that are becoming increasingly important in Africa.”

With this increase in wealth and the decline in health, drugs are in demand. It is estimated that pharmaceutical companies will spend $30 billion on healthcare in Africa which is up from the $18 billion they are spending now. By 2020 they are expecting the pharmaceutical industry to be spending $45 billion.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that Africa only accounts for eleven percent of the world’s population, but also contributes 24% of the disease burden in the world as well. WHO indicates that they believe by 2020 Africa will see a sharp rise in Non-Communicable disease deaths. These types of diseases include cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.

A 2011 report put out by the African Development Bank showed that Africa’s middle class increased by 34%. There are currently around 313 million people located in Africa and that number is believed to jump to the likes of the population in China.

Indian and Chinese drugs companies manufacture pharmaceuticals to get in on the growing population.



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