PR-based strategies emphasising the cost of the disease and local partners are needed to enter the lucrative German vaccine market, according to researchers.
The German vaccine market could be worth up to $2.7bn (€2.1bn), according to a Kalorama Information report entitled “European Vaccine Markets”, making it a sizable opportunity for manufacturers. However, to access the market an understanding of the German system is needed.
“In terms of vaccines, because they require government investment, PR-based strategies, building the case that a disease is costly and needs to be treated by pre-vaccination is the success key that Merck, Novartis and other companies have found with Gardasil and the H1N1 vaccines,” Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information, told in-PharmaTechnologist.
Carlson suggests companies wishing to make inroads into the German market are likely to be assisted by established German market partners who have already satisfied government healthcare regulations and secured financial backing.
“In fact in the area of vaccines, it is a few companies that already dominate and smaller companies would tend to work with a larger partner to distribute,” he continued.
Importance of Germany
The importance of Germany is also highlighted in another Kalorama Information report, “The World Market for Diabetes Treatments”, that predicts the country’s diabetes market could be worth up to $2.5bn.
“We look at the dollar value of the market and expected growth based on spending and disease trends to establish the size of the market and the opportunity. We found in several different reports a common trend that of the European countries, Germany presented the largest market and growth”, said Carlson.
This will come as no surprise to keen industry observers. With over 81m inhabitants, Germany is Europe's most populous country, and has the highest prevalence of Type II diabetes amongst the major healthcare markets – a situation attributed to national dietary and exercise habits.
“There are health issues in its population and a national consensus to fund healthcare,” said Carlson, adding: “Growth is highly attributable to an ageing population and vaccinations for diseases which significantly affect these populations, including influenza. This makes it an attractive market for pharmaceutical companies.”
Well governed healthcare system
Germany has the oldest universal healthcare system in the industrialised world, spending an estimated $3,500 per person - slightly more than France and the UK. As part of the multi-layered system, private companies provide long-term medical insurance and care under strict government regulation.
“It is a well funded system that shows a commitment to pay for efficacious treatments,” said Carlson, “2.3 doctors per 1,000 people and plenty of choice. Lines are rarer than in other systems, say the NHS in the UK.
“There is a mixture of public and private system – private doctors and hospitals strictly regulated as to how they can practice by the government. Those in one of the many ‘sickness funds’ in Germany don’t see charges at the doctor’s office – just the taxes deducted from their paychecks,” he added.