Korea Pharmaceutical Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Korea Pharmaceutical Market is segmented by ATC/Therapeutic Class, Drug Type, and Prescription Type

Market Snapshot

Study Period: 2018 - 2026
Base Year: 2020
CAGR: 2.5 %

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Market Overview

The Korea Pharmaceutical market studied was anticipated to show a slow growth with a CAGR of 2.5%. An aging population and rising life expectancy have contributed to a strong demand for treatment which would be a major driver of potential trends in the pharmaceutical industry in the country over the forecast period. The pharmaceutical industry in Korea is evolving in reaction to the government's funding for R&D and anti-illegal rebate initiatives, with leading organizations the earliest to respond to the evolving climate. Further R&D spending is being spent on new medicines, and bio-similars, despite high growth rates in global markets. Celltrion and Samsung Bioepis are evolving as two of the world's leading biosimilar firms.

As per the latest research data from the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), a total of 46 research and development based Korean drug manufacturers recently identified as revolutionary pharmaceutical organizations by the Health Ministry of Korea, which will enhance R&D spending by 2020 from KRW 1,272,300 million to KRW 3,879,800 million. In fact, Korea has the potential to perform medicines R&D for molecules and industrial innovations, agents, including organic synthesis, and multinational clinical trials. This potential has been achieved by the advancement of generic drugs. Korea is already a pioneer in the field of biotechnological pharmaceutical research. Therefore, all of these variables would boost the pharmaceutical demand in the country during the forecast era.

Scope of the Report

As per the scope of this report, pharmaceuticals are referred to as prescribed and non-prescription drugs. These medicines can be bought by an individual with or without the doctor's prescription and are safe for consumption for various illnesses with or without the doctor’s consent. The report also covers the in-depth analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.

By ATC/Therapeutic Category
Digestive Organ and Metabolism
Blood and Hemopoietic Organ
Cardiovascular System
Nervous System
Musculoskeletal Organ
General Antiinfectives Systemic
RespiraTory System
By Drug Type
By Prescription Type
Prescription Drugs (Rx)
OTC Drugs

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Key Market Trends

Healthcare Expenditure in Korea

According to the OECD, South Korea's gross healthcare spending in 2018 amounted to nearly 8.1% of Korea's GDP. This is the outcome of the narrowest growth in the past decade which was the first time that spending on healthcare reached 8 percent of the GDP. This proportion has seen steady growth over the last decade, suggesting that healthcare expenditure has grown at an even faster pace than GDP increases. In 2018, Korea's per capita GDP is over USD 33 thousand, increasing from about 18.2 thousand dollars in 2009, while its gross medical expenditures in 2018 rose by around 10% from the preceding year, around KRW 14.44 billion (around USD 12 million). About 60% of the expenses were incurred by the government or the national health care scheme. According to the OECD, in Korea, the healthcare spending below the average of other European economies.

healthcare spending in trillion korean won.png

Prescription Drugs segment Holds the Largest Share and Expected to do Same in the Forecast Period

Korea Prescription Drugs segment is expected to constitute the largest proportion of the pharmaceutical market in the forecast period. The industry drivers for this field are technical advances, growing geriatric populace, rising incidence of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, and new product innovations are also accountable for this rising trend. Inflammatory disease and other chronic diseases are on the rise in Korea, not only reducing the standard of living but also impacting the development of the economy. Rising cases of chronic diseases would lead to a rise in the use of prescription drugs which will accelerate the growth of prescription drugs in the country during the forecast period, as per the stats from Ministry of Health and Welfare of South Korea, in 2017 51% of seniors are suffered from more than three diagnosed chronic diseases, further, a rising per capita healthcare expenditure in the country is also anticipated to boost the market growth during the forecast period.

korea globocan.png

Competitive Landscape

Korean pharmaceutical market is highly competitive and consists of several major players. In terms of market share, few of the major players are currently dominating the market. And some prominent players are vigorously making acquisitions and joint ventures with the other companies to consolidate their market positions in the country. Some of the Key companies which are currently dominating the market are AbbVie Inc., AstraZeneca plc, Bayer AG, SAMSUNG PHARM. Co., LTD., and GlaxoSmithKline plc

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions & Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

      1. 4.1.1 Healthcare Expenditure

      2. 4.1.2 Pharmaceutical Imports and Exports

      3. 4.1.3 Epidemiology Data For key Diseases

      4. 4.1.4 Regulatory Landscape/Regulatory Bodies

      5. 4.1.5 Licensing and Market Authorization

      6. 4.1.6 Pipeline Analysis

        1. By Phase

        2. By Sponsor

        3. By Disease

      7. 4.1.7 Statistical Overview

        1. Number of Hospitals

        2. Employment in the Pharmaceutical Sector

        3. R&D Expenditure

      8. 4.1.8 Ease of Doing Business

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

      1. 4.2.1 Rising R&D Expenditure

      2. 4.2.2 Rising Incidence of Chronic Disease such as CVD and Diabetes

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

      1. 4.3.1 Stringent Regulatory Scenario

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Force Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 By ATC/Therapeutic Category

      1. 5.1.1 Digestive Organ and Metabolism

      2. 5.1.2 Blood and Hemopoietic Organ

      3. 5.1.3 Cardiovascular System

      4. 5.1.4 Nervous System

      5. 5.1.5 Musculoskeletal Organ

      6. 5.1.6 General Antiinfectives Systemic

      7. 5.1.7 RespiraTory System

      8. 5.1.8 others

    2. 5.2 By Drug Type

      1. 5.2.1 Branded

      2. 5.2.2 Generic

    3. 5.3 By Prescription Type

      1. 5.3.1 Prescription Drugs (Rx)

      2. 5.3.2 OTC Drugs


    1. 6.1 Company Profile

      1. 6.1.1 AbbVie Inc.

      2. 6.1.2 AstraZeneca plc

      3. 6.1.3 Bayer AG

      4. 6.1.4 SAMSUNG PHARM. Co., LTD.

      5. 6.1.5 GlaxoSmithKline plc

      6. 6.1.6 F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG

      7. 6.1.7 Bristol Myers Squibb Company

      8. 6.1.8 Eli Lilly and Company

      9. 6.1.9 Merck & Co., Inc.

      10. 6.1.10 Sanofi S.A.


**Subject to Availability
**Competitive Landscape covers- Business Overview, Financials, Products and Strategies and Recent Developments

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Korea Pharmaceutical Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The Korea Pharmaceutical Market is growing at a CAGR of 2.5% over the next 5 years.

AbbVie Inc., AstraZeneca plc, Bayer AG, SAMSUNG PHARM. Co., LTD., GlaxoSmithKline plc are the major companies operating in Korea Pharmaceutical Market.

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