Which nations are the most attractive destination for prescription drug launches?

A key factor in the commercial success of a drug is getting the launch right - this includes both the pricing and selection of countries first to receive and adopt a new health technology. One of the most common reasons for missing expectations is limited market access.

A 2019 analysis conducted by EY Canada analyzed New Active Substances (NAS) launched between January 2011 and June 2018 to determine the most appealing market.

The study used a dataset of launch dates across 69 countries and jurisdictions that were approved by the U.S. FDA, EMA and/or Japan’s PMDA between January 2011 and August 2018, and first launched anywhere globally during the same time period.

The analysis considered a domestic launch-date to be the date that a NAS is first sold in the country. To avoid double counting, combination products that share individual NASs are counted only when the product represents the first time that an individual NAS launches in a given country. The analysis did not distinguish between the hospital and retail sector.

Of the 243 products launched globally, the US ranked 1st with 213 drugs launched over the study period, while Germany has the second highest total at 167 launches. UK, Austria and Sweden rounded off the Top-5 global launch destinations. 

Countries were selected based on comparability of income levels, standard of care and health system, among other factors.