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Healthcare Assignment Analyzing Australian Pharmaceutical Industry

Question

Task:
Students are to write a 1500-word report on healthcare assignment that analyses an industry segment of the Australian Healthcare sector.

Answer

Introduction to Pharmaceutical Industry in Australia
According to the study of Medicines Australia (2020) undertaken herein healthcare assignment, the Australia Pharmaceutical market is a billion-dollar industry which has demonstrated significant growth in the last decade. The industry has anticipated a rise from 22 billion dollars to 25.2 billion dollars by 2020. Currently, the Australian Pharmaceutical market represents a knowledge and technology-based industry that has potentially improved the economic output and social wellbeing in Australia (Drug Development & Delivery, 2020). Australia provides immense opportunities for pharmaceutical companies and welcomes foreign investment by recognizing their importance in boosting economic development. Australia holds a strong position for foreign direct investments when compared to other countries. There are over 5.7 thousand pharmacies located in Australia and over 1.6 thousand pharmaceutical wholesale establishments. The pharmaceutical industry receives financial support from the government and receives medicines from Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) (Statista, 2020). Being an Australian government initiative, PBS provides subsidized prescription medicine and has given opportunity to over 5000 brands and residents to avail the benefits under the scheme. The pharmaceutical industry has seen an increase in the demand for pharmacies and prescription products.

Competitive landscape of the industry
The Australian pharma industry has been regarded as a competitive market which has allowed existing companies to reassess their busines models. Every year Australia welcomes pharma companies to invest in the industry to develop new life saving and life improving drugs. The pharmaceutical industry is evolving by taking benefits of global advancements in healthcare and technology. The Australian Pharmaceutical industry comprises of highly competitive players in terms of their market share and dominance in the market. Some of the major players in the industry are Abbvie Inc., Pfizer Inc., AstraZeneca plc, Amgen Inc., and CSL Limited (Mordor Intelligence, 2020). The pharmaceutical market is a concentrated market, and the pharma companies are boosting the generic competition and growth of the industry. The recent Covid-19 outbreak has put Australian Pharmaceutical industry into unprecedented pressure to relax its reliance on imported drugs. The Chinese and Indian pharma supply chains have been deeply affected during the pandemic situation which has eventually forced Australian pharma companies to improve the domestic supply chains. The top pharma companies in Australia have contributed to developing Covid-19 vaccine along with treatments for critical patients. Pharma companies like CSL Limited and AstraZeneca came together along with Australian Government to manufacture 30 million doses to be released by the year 2021.

Different pharma companies are different business models. Pfizer generates revenue through sale and manufacturing of pharmaceutical products. The company generates revenues from prescription medicines, consumer healthcare items, over-the-counter medicines and specialist medicines and solutions. The company also ties up with third party companies to produce and co-promote specialist products. On the other hand, Abbvie Inc. generate revenues from their sale of pharmaceutical products that deals with complex diseases in the world. Being one of the leading biotechnology companies, it deals with a robust portfolio of drugs such as Creon, Humira, Lupron, AndroGel and Synagis. All these drugs generate majority of revenues for the company that deals with major diseases like liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, etc. Abbvie Inc. has direct and indirect channels for targeted patient population. As the pharmaceutical market is huge in Australia, it has several other companies like the AstraZeneca which deals with development of new medicines for critical illnesses. The company has a sustainable environment to market its products to the residents (AstraZeneca, 2020). The company provides medicines and treatment solutions for cancer, intestines, and cardiovascular diseases. The business model of AstraZeneca mainly focuses on creating a competitive parity and improve their drugs pipeline. The company has some major competitors that deal homogeneous products in the pharmaceutical industry. Another competitor named Amgen is a biotechnology pioneer and operates in the human therapeutics segment. Being able to stand out in the industry, the company sells its products to patients through medication wholesalers and retailers, government agencies, hospitals and retailers dealing with medicines. The company has strong network of business partners in the regional area and licensing partners with other stakeholders in order to sell the pharma products globally. The business model of each company shows that all pharma companies are competing with each other to deliver high-end pharma products to its customers thereby supporting to the economic development of the country.

Industry trends
The pharmaceutical industry in Australia has a robust network of local manufacturers, partners, wholesalers and retailers who sell high-end pharma products to its customers suffering from critical illness or disease. The current scenario of Australian healthcare market shows that it has risen up to 42.5 billion dollars in 2020. The country is now able to facilitate good access to government subsidized medicines and better healthcare coverage facilities. The Annual Compound Growth Rate is expected to be 5.1% to 32.1 billion dollars by the end of 2020(Drug Development & Delivery, 2020). It has been observed that the country has a high ageing population along with various other associated health risks. The Australian Government has paid attention towards patient care and their medications. However, the cost-cutting measures and rise of generic substitution has been questioned by the population. The people have issues due to increasing healthcare government expenses and cost cutting ways. In a way, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) allowed the Australian Government to reduce the prices of the pharma products, but it negatively impacted the pharma companies and eventually a decreased growth of the pharmaceutical industry (Australian Government, 2020). Currently the pharmaceutical industry is based on the knowledge and technology used within the industry which has eventually helped the industry to grow and welcome pharmaceutical companies to invest. The industry welcomes companies that are willing to develop medicines and other pharma products for critical illnesses and diseases. There are many sectors in which the industry must focus on, but it can mainly focus on elderly care and mental health issues. The pharmaceutical industry of Australia is one of the top 10 global destinations for foreign direct investment that allows pharma companies to sustain for a longer period of time. The current trend of welcoming FDI into the country will not only invite major pharma companies but also boost the economy, create employment opportunities, open market for generic competition and stimulate exports.

It has been observed by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2020), that Australian pharmaceutical industry has made sales equivalent to 411 dollars per capita which is lower than the OECD average of 531 dollars. In Australia people have spent more on nervous system issues where customers tend to purchase pharma products like antidepressants, sedatives and analgesics. It has also been observed that people have spent more on cardiovascular diseases in Australia. The Australian Pharmaceutical companies have benefitted from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) decisions, however, have reported that the processes need improvement. The chances of growth in the future is high but it is also clear to pharma companies that there can be uncertainty around market access. The cut outs by PBS has been an issue for medicine companies.

Ethical issues faced within the industry
The pharmaceutical industry is one of the vital industries due to its economic importance. It alsohas a great impact on the health andwell-being of people of all ages and belonging to different economic levels. The industry is not free from ethical issues where there can be conflicts of interests between physicians and pharmaceutical industry. The most prominent issues identified are drug safety, pricing of drugs and treatments, marketing restrictions, animal testing and issues related to vaccination and effectiveness of drug testing. These issues can have major impact on the pharmaceutical industry which can eventually have an effect on drug availability for residents in Australia. The most important factor to be considered is that majority of individuals of the entire world population have less access to healthcare products and facilities. The Australian Pharmaceutical industry is well-known for advanced healthcare facilities and fosters many biotech and pharma companies to flourish their business in the country (Dantaand Ghinea, 2017). The pharma sector does not try to have conflicts of interest with pharma companies and suppliers as it will directly impact on the supply of medicines and other products in the market. The doctors and hospitals are under the obligation of providing high class treatments, service and medications to the general public at subsidized rates. The Australian pharmaceutical industry is expected to be transparent in the way that conducts its generic research and works on the implications of the research. It must generate the potential results and information to be delivered by the research.

Conclusion
The Australian Pharmaceutical Industry is one of the leading pharma industries in the world comprising of big names in the market. It is now clear the Australian healthcare sector focuses on patient safety and medications. However, the industry has faced uncertainties due to pressurizing situations from the competition and recent Covid-19 situation. While there are challenges in the industry, there are greater opportunities for the pharma companies and the entire industry to grow its economic capabilities. The benefits can be derived from collaborations and investment in the industry that could bring huge benefits to the overall economy of the country.

Reference List
AstraZeneca, 2020. About us.[online] Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2020]

Australian Government, 2020. Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).[online] Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2020]

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020. International health data comparisons, 2020. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2020]

Danta, M. and Ghinea, N., 2017. The complex legal and ethical issues related to generic medications. Viral hepatitis: a case study. Journal of virus eradication, 3(2), p.77.

Drug Development & Delivery, 2020. Australian Pharmaceutical Market to Surpass $25 Billion.[online] Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2020]

Medicines Australia, 2020. 2015 PWC Pharma Industry Survey Highlights Challenges for Innovative Medicines Sector.[online] Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2020]

Mordor Intelligence, 2020. AUSTRALIA PHARMACEUTICAL MARKET - GROWTH, TRENDS, AND FORECASTS (2020–2025).[online] Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2020]

Statista, 2020. Pharmaceutical industry in Australia - Statistics and facts.[online] Available at:[Accessed 15 December 2020]

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