The international market for prescription pharmaceutical products totaled nearly $295 billion in 1997. The US market dominated with approximately $107 billion in sales—35% of the global total.
In comparison, the 11 markets of Western Europe collectively generated nearly $80 billion, led by Germany and France with total sales of approximately $20 billion each. The five market-leading countries of Western Europe—Germany, France, Italy, the UK and Spain— contributed a combined total of $70 billion.
Following the US and Western European regional markets, the Asia/Pacific Rim region ranked third in 1997 sales with approximately $65 billion. In Japan, the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market behind the US, 1997 sales were approximately $48 billion, followed by China and South Korea with $9.8 billion and $3.6 billion, respectively (see Figure 2 for a detailed breakdown of international pharmaceutical sales for 1997).