Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced an overall average growth rate of 5 percent over the past decade. Africa has a rising middle class, which now accounts for 45 percent of the population. The urban population is expected to exceed that of China’s and India’s by 2050.

The rapid economic growth that sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing is driving demand for medicines and healthcare spending. The pharmaceutical market opportunity is growing significantly and cannot be ignored.

Pharmaceutical spending in Africa is expected to reach $45 billion by 2016, this is driven by a compounded annual growth rate of 10.6 percent, which is second only to Asia Pacific (12.5 percent) and in line with Latin America (10.5 percent). According to IMS Health, 10 major African cities are expected to account for 20 to 30 percent of the total African pharmaceutical market opportunity by 2016.

The disease landscape is changing dramatically too, with a marked shift in the burden of illness from communicable to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) across the region, as well as the continued positive impact on the management of HIV/AIDS and a relative reduction in infectious and parasitic illnesses.

The proportional contribution of NCDs to the region’s healthcare burden is expected to rise to 21 percent by 2030. In addition Africa is forecasted to experience the largest increase in death rates from cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes during the next decade. This will result in greater demand for healthcare and best in class chronic therapies.