Amid Protests, Brazil’s Pharmaceutical Industry Tries to Send a Message of Success and Hope

Pill bottle with spilling medications over white

In recent months, Brazil has been rocked by controversy. For example, on March 15, almost one million demonstrators protested the nation’s sluggish economy, rising prices and corruption, calling for the impeachment of left-wing President Dilma Rousseff. And for good reason: their dissent came after numerous economists predicted that falling oil prices would only increase inflation while restricting further growth. However, despite these worrying signs, the country’s pharmaceutical market is hopeful. From May 12 to 14, the industry will be holding the 20th FCE Pharma in São Paulo, where professionals hope to prove that there are positive signs from everything from pharmaceutical serialization to cosmetics.

While the event is still almost two months away, it has already found some success: the Marchesini Group, a Bologna, Italy-based packaging machinery supplier, recently announced that they will be holding an exhibit at the event. In a press release about its decision, the company stated that FCE Pharma, considered one of the most important pharmaceutical and cosmetic trade fairs in Latin America, will demonstrate the success of Brazil’s packaging market and high focus on pharmaceutical serialization and track and trace.

Other reports also suggest that FCE Pharma will draw further attention to the nutricosmetics’ market, a growing industry that offers oral-based natural health products to treat the skin, hair and nails. An article on previously suggested that Brazil, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan and other countries could represent an untapped market for these products. The article also estimated that the global nutricosmetics market would increase by 11.5% from 2014 to 2020, accounting for $7.16 billion USD by 2020.

Given the nature of the Brazil’s existing pharmaceutical market, many feel that this potential trend is highly possible. For example, the UK-based business intelligence firm previously called the country their favorite regional pharmaceutical market due to its large size and high level of domestic demand for high-tech products. And while the government is currently being criticized by its people, also reported that the administration is increasingly investing in healthcare and pharmaceuticals to reduce the nation’s medical costs, while their private sector welcomes foreign companies and investment.

However, economists have a different take on the issue: in a report titled “The Pharmaceutical Industry in Brazil,” the business management consulting firm PricewaterhouseCooper commented that companies are expected to become more dependent on emerging markets by 2020. However, while Brazil is one such market, the country is expected to generate higher profits from patent medications than generics. As a result, they consider the nation a paradox, offering a large market potential in which obtaining a return is difficult and competition is strong. As dissent continues to simmer and Brazil’s pharmaceutical companies count down the days until FCE Pharma, the rest of the world waits to see if the tides will turn.

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