The Structure of the World Pharmaceutical Market: Prioritizing Iran’s Target Export Markets

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Health Services Management, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Public Heath, School of Health, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Urmia Medical Sciences University, Urmia, Iran.

3 Department of Pharma Management and Pharmacoeconomics, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Department of Health Information Technology, School of Para Medicine, Urmia Medical Sciences University, Urmia, Iran.


Iran`s pharmaceutical products market as one of the major markets of the country has been faced with fluctuations over time. Suitable market selection is necessary for stability of pharmaceutical exports. Study of the global market structure of this product leads to policy makers in development, production, and trade of pharmaceuticals and finally increases country’s share of the world pharmaceutical market. Moreover, This study aimed to determine the structure of the world pharmaceutical market as well as the pharmaceutical export of Iran to its trade partners and to identify its target markets. Concentration ratios and Herfindahl index were used to determine the structure of the world market and pharmaceutical exports of Iran in the years 2001-2012. Also, a composite index was used to identify the target markets of Iran’s pharmaceutical industry.
The results showed that the export side of world pharmaceutical trade has shifted to open oligopoly, thereby decreasing the monopolistic power of exporters. The import side, however, follows monopolistic competition. It has been observed that the structure of Iran's pharmaceutical export is shifting to open oligopoly; though, pharmaceutical importers from Iran have not been stable. Moreover, 27 countries were identified as target markets. Due to significant differences between the current and potential export destinations of Iran’s pharmaceutical products, exporters must choose suitable strategies in order to diversify export markets. Such mechanisms as setting preferential tariffs on the basis of bilateral agreements, effective advertisment, and paying attention to global consumers’preferences can be used to develop Iran’s pharmaceutical export to target countries.


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