Sagrada-Familia-Barcelona-SpainThe Spanish pharmaceutical market is set to see a slight rise in value from $23.7 billion in 2016 to $25.1 billion by 2021, registering a compound annual growth rate approaching 1%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest report states that the introduction of tax incentives for R&D spending by the Spanish government has assuaged the effect of austerity measures introduced in 2010, allowing the pharmaceutical space to see some recovery.

Driving growth factors for the market include the consolidation of the biotechnology sector, government support, infrastructure for innovation, a highly qualified workforce and a favorable cost benefit ratio of human capita.

The ageing population will also play a significant role in driving Spain’s healthcare sector to 2021.

Price containment measures introduced by the government include forming homogenous groups of substitutable products so that pharmacists can provide the cheapest drug, eliminating the 2-year period that existed for pharmaceutical companies to reduce the price of their medicines below the reference price, and making it mandatory for pharmacists to dispense the cheapest available medicine.

Such measures played a part in restricting growth of the pharmaceutical industry, which contracted in value by 13.7% between 2010 and 2014.

Currently, a strong R&D infrastructure and the introduction of tax incentives mean demand for innovative medicines is helping the Spanish pharmaceutical market. The tax incentives meant that the pharmaceutical industry invested $1.2 billion in R&D in 2015.

The government’s investment in the implementation of electronic clinical records and the use of information and communication technology to integrate the services provided by public hospitals with those of the National Health System (Sistema Nacional de Salud, SNS) will also be a boon to the industry.

The introduction of e-health services allows patients to make appointments and obtain prescriptions online, improving access and thus driving the healthcare sector.