Pharmaceutical manufacturers research, develop, produce, market and sell pharmaceutical products. All chemical or biological substances used for medical or veterinary usage come under the purview of the term pharmaceuticals. Prescription drugs, generic drugs and OTC drugs; vitamins and nutritional supplements; diagnostic substances and drug delivery systems are the broad categories under which products manufactured by pharmaceutical manufacturers can be classified.
The United States is the third largest country in the world. For the pharmaceutical industry this immediately translates into a huge market potential. Estimates place USA as the world’s largest and wealthiest pharmaceutical market. Per capita expenditure on pharmaceutical products in USA has been estimated to be $885. This figure is nearly double the per capita expenditure in any other part of the world.
Any market with this kind of potential is well researched and watched. There are several organizations that provide market research reports to pharmaceutical manufacturers. Such market outlook reports help pharmaceutical manufacturers to understand the key drivers in the market and make necessary changes in strategy. The market research reports that are used by pharmaceutical manufacturers are comprehensive analysis reports, five year market forecasts, national data projections, government regulations, government policies and information about changes in health facilities if any.
There is no regulation on drug prices in the US. This has caused the high prices of drugs to become a major political issue. An offshoot of such a situation is people trying to import cheaper drugs from other countries through illegal means. The Internet is widely used for this activity. This kind of importing is technically illegal, yet it is a thriving business.
Major pharmaceutical manufacturers like Pfizer, Merck &Co and Bristol-Myers Squib are based in the United States. A thriving, competitive, generic pharmaceutical industry also exists in US. This industry has seen a tremendous amount of growth since 1984.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers have to keep themselves updated about all the stringent regulations put in place by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These regulations are issued to address the need for drug safety and FDA approval norms and are revised from time to time in keeping with technological developments initiated by pharmaceutical manufacturers.