Hong Kong, being ranked as one of the most prosperous cities in Asia, has a population size of around 7 million. The high level of wealth means that its healthcare provisions are of the highest standard within the region.


Sales potential for Western medicines in Hong Kong is substantial. Hong Kongˇ¦s pharmaceutical market is estimated to worth around USD 850 million in 2005, equal to USD 125 per capita.


Total pharmaceutical imports in 2004 reached around USD 630 million of which Western prescription medicines accounted for USD 400 million, and over-the-counter drugs (OTC) for USD 228 million. Domestic production supplies approximately 13% of the pharmaceutical market. About 50% of imported pharmaceutical products are branded names. Most patented and generic drugs come from the USA and Europe: Hong Kong produces only very basic, generic drugs. Although the pharmaceutical market in Hong Kong is fairly mature. There is ample room, however, for newly patented drugs, particularly in the areas of antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs and anti-peptic ulcerants.


Pharmaceutical products in Hong Kong were distributed through three channels: public hospitals/clinics, private practitioners/hospitals and OTC sales. These channels occupied distribution shares of approximately 43%, 31% and 26% respectively.