GVR Report cover Canada Pharmaceutical Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Canada Pharmaceutical Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Drug Type, By Product, By Type, By Disease, By Route of Administration, By Formulation, By Age Group, By End-use, And Segment Forecasts, 2024 - 2030

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68040-190-2
  • Number of Report Pages: 120
  • Format: PDF, Horizon Databook
  • Historical Range: 2018 - 2022
  • Forecast Period: 2024 - 2030 
  • Industry: Healthcare

Market Size & Trends

The Canada Pharmaceutical market size was estimated at USD 48.59 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.88% over the forecast period. The market is driven by several factors, including an aging population, increasing healthcare expenditures, growing demand for innovative drugs, and a strong focus on research and development. Additionally, government policies supporting healthcare access and investments in biotechnology contribute to the market's expansion. These factors collectively stimulate growth and advancements within the Canadian pharmaceutical industry.

Canada Pharmaceutical Market size, by type, 2024 - 2030 (USD Million)

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the Canadian pharmaceutical market. It underscored the importance of healthcare and vaccine development, leading to increased investments in research and manufacturing. The demand for antiviral treatments, vaccines, and therapies surged, with companies accelerating clinical trials and production. Supply chain disruptions posed challenges, but the market adapted by diversifying sources. Telemedicine and digital health solutions gained prominence for patient care. COVID-19 accelerated innovation and collaboration within the Canadian pharmaceutical sector, fostering resilience and adaptability.

The aging Canadian population serves as a significant driver for the pharmaceutical market. As the proportion of seniors increases and 5.1 million Canadians reach age 65 over the next decade, the demand for pharmaceutical products and healthcare services is expected to grow substantially. Seniors typically require medications for managing chronic health conditions and age-related illnesses. This demographic shift highlights the need for pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs and healthcare solutions tailored to the specific needs of older people. It also emphasizes the importance of geriatric medicine and healthcare services, making the aging population a key driver shaping the dynamics of the Canadian pharmaceutical market.

Increasing demand for early & accurate diagnosis of diseases, coupled with growing demand for enhanced therapies, is expected to fuel the market growth. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada, with more than 28% of deaths caused by cancer in the country annually. Around 233,900 new cancer cases and 85,100 cancer deaths were reported in Canada in 2022. Out of these, about 121,100 men and 112,800 women were diagnosed with some form of cancer in the same year. The most common forms of cancer diagnosed in the country are lung, breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers.

Cancer and health diseases are the most common causes of death in Canada. Health diseases account for 18.5% of all annual deaths in the country. The increasing prevalence and mortality of cancer and cardiovascular diseases is contributing to the growth of the nuclear medicine & radiopharmaceutical market. According to the data published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) in July 2022, about 2.4 million people have heart disease in the country. Moreover, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, 9 out of 19 Canadians have at least one risk factor for the development of heart conditions, stroke, and vascular cognitive impairment. Cardiovascular disease costs around USD 21.2 billion, including direct and indirect costs, in Canada, whereas stroke costs around USD 3.6 billion annually. Moreover, the CIHI has collaborated with the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) to improve the health service quality of cardiac care across the country. Supportive initiatives undertaken by government bodies and increasing incidence of targeted diseases coupled with high mortality rates are expected to increase the demand for novel & effective therapeutic products in the coming years.

In March 2023, the Canadian government allocated USD 59 million to the Canadian Critical Drug Initiative to enhance drug research, commercialization, and manufacturing in the Alberta. This investment will support the construction of a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and upgrading a 72,000-square-foot biotechnology business development center in Edmonton. The initiative is spearheaded by Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation in collaboration with the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute at the University of Alberta. Once completed, the manufacturing facility will produce small-molecule drugs and include a fill-finish line for packaging and labeling the drugs for distribution.

Drug Type Insights

On the basis of drug type, the conventional drugs (small molecules) segment accounted for the largest market share of 55.21% in 2023. Small molecules are pivotal in propelling Canada's pharmaceutical market. They are the foundation of drug development and continue to fuel ongoing research and innovation in the sector. Their efficacy in treating a diverse range of medical conditions sustains high demand, fostering market growth and economic stability. Moreover, significant investments and strategic partnerships strengthen Canada's position within the global pharmaceutical industry, facilitating the development of novel medications and furthering the nation's contribution to healthcare solutions on a worldwide scale.

In addition, strategic activities by key market players will further propel the segment growth. For instance, in April 2023, Takeda, the global pharmaceutical company, entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Treventis for a group of small molecules designed to target tau, a protein associated with the misfolding and aggregation believed to contribute to Alzheimer's disease. Treventis developed these molecules, drawing on their expertise in Alzheimer's and neurodegenerative research. The significance of this partnership lies in the potential to create an effective drug for targeting tau in the brain, which is currently lacking. Given the prevalence of brain-related conditions in Canada, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and epilepsy, this collaboration holds promise for advancing treatments and finding cures through cutting-edge patient care and research efforts.

Product Insights

Based on the product, the branded segment held the largest market share of 68.18% in 2023 and is anticipated to grow with the fastest CAGR over the forecast period. In Canada, the driving factor behind the affordability of branded medications is the robust system of government price controls. The Canadian Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB), established in 1987, plays a pivotal role in this endeavor. It regulates medication prices by limiting the maximum prices that can be charged for patented drugs. With a focus on controlling the ex-factory prices of patented medicines, the PMPRB effectively prevents excessive pricing, making pharmaceuticals more accessible to the Canadian population. This essential regulatory framework ensures Canadians have access to affordable and reasonably priced branded drugs, maintaining a delicate balance between innovation and accessibility in the pharmaceutical market.

In addition, new product launches will further offer lucrative opportunities in the forecast period. For instance, Eisai Co., Ltd. and Biogen Inc. have received acceptance from Health Canada for a New Drug Submission (NDS) for lecanemab, branded as LEQEMBI in the United States. Lecanemab is an experimental antibody designed to target Aβ protofibrils and intended for treating early Alzheimer's disease, including mild cognitive impairment due to AD and mild AD dementia, in individuals with verified amyloid brain pathology. It marks a significant step in addressing Alzheimer's disease in Canada.

Type Insights

The prescription segment dominated the pharmaceutical market in Canada in terms of revenue in 2023 and is anticipated to grow with the fastest CAGR over the forecast period. A prominent driving factor is the stringent regulation of prescription drug prices in pharmaceutical market of Canada. The Canadian government enforces price controls on patented drugs through the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB). This mechanism ensures that medication costs remain reasonable and don't impose an undue financial burden on consumers and the healthcare system.

By preventing excessive pricing, Canada balances between making prescription drugs accessible to its population and fostering pharmaceutical innovation, resulting in a sustainable and equitable pharmaceutical market.

Disease Insights

Based on disease, the cancer segment dominated the market in terms of revenue in 2023 and is anticipated to grow with the fastest CAGR over the forecast period. According to the Canadian Cancer Statistics publication, it is estimated that there will be a 79% increase in cancer cases between 2028 and 2032. As per recent reports, the cancer survival rate in Canada for the next five years is 64%. This estimated burden of cancer in Canada is also anticipated to drive the market in the country.

In addition, product launch is another major factor driving the market growth. In May 2023, BeiGene, Ltd. received a Notice of Compliance from Health Canada for BRUKINSA (zanubrutinib), a Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, as a treatment for adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). This marks the fourth approval for BRUKINSA in Canada, having previously been authorized for Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, mantle cell lymphoma, and marginal zone lymphoma. CLL, a type of blood cancer, affects over 2,200 individuals in Canada annually, with a higher incidence in men, typically occurring in those over 60, and the average age of diagnosis in the early 70s.

Route of Administration Insights

The oral route of administration dominated the market in terms of revenue in 2023. It is the most commonly preferred medication delivery method, as it is non-invasive, cost-effective, and encourages patient compliance. The versatility of oral medications for various medical conditions further reinforces this route's prominence, ensuring widespread accessibility and effectiveness in drug delivery. This factor is instrumental in shaping pharmaceutical markets, making treatments more accessible and user-friendly for patients.

The parenteral segment is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period. This method involves injecting medications directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system. It is vital for rapid drug delivery, precise dosing, and conditions that require immediate and consistent blood levels. Parenteral routes, including intravenous and intramuscular injections, are essential for critical care, emergency situations, and patients with difficulty swallowing or absorbing oral medications, making them indispensable in modern medicine.

Formulation Insights

Based on formulation, the tablet segment dominated the market in terms of revenue in 2023. In the Canadian pharmaceutical market, the popularity of tablet formulations is driven by several factors. Patients in Canada strongly prefer convenience, familiarity, and ease of administration that tablets offer. Manufacturers often choose tablets for product launches due to their precise dosing, extended shelf life, and stability, which align with market demands. Additionally, taste masking ability and control release rates enhance patient compliance, making tablets a preferred choice among consumers and healthcare providers, driving their prominence in the Canadian pharmaceutical market.

The sprays segment is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period. Consumers appreciate the ease of use and precise dosing offered by spray formulations, making them a preferred choice for various medications. Manufacturers often opt for sprays in product launches, capitalizing on their user-friendly nature as it aligns with the demand for convenient and innovative drug delivery methods in the Canadian market. As a result, sprays have found a niche and are increasingly favored by both consumers and pharmaceutical companies in Canada.

Age Group Insights

Based on age group, the geriatric segment dominated the market in 2023. The demographic shift towards seniors is a prominent trend in Canada, with seniors becoming the fastest-growing demographic. Projections suggest that by 2068, seniors could make up between 21% - 29% of the Canadian population, significantly impacting the country's healthcare and pharmaceutical needs. Currently, nearly 20% of the population is already over 65 years, highlighting the importance of adapting healthcare and pharmaceutical services to cater to the evolving needs of this aging demographic. These demographic changes will have significant implications for the pharmaceutical market in Canada and the healthcare industry.  

In addition,  the children and adolescents segment is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR over the forecast period due to high demand for early treatment. Moreover, rising prevalence of various disorders in this population, including respiratory conditions, infectious diseases, and rare conditions, is further anticipated to fuel segment growth.

End-use Insights

Based on end-use, the hospital segment dominated the market in 2023 with the increasing number of hospitals in Canada where pharmaceutical drugs are in high demand for various medical treatments. These medications are essential for addressing several health issues, from acute illnesses to chronic conditions. The growing healthcare infrastructure and expanded hospital facilities further amplify the utilization of pharmaceutical drugs in patient care. This rising demand underscores the critical role played by pharmaceuticals in maintaining and improving healthcare standards across the country, ensuring the best possible treatment and outcomes for patients in the ever-expanding hospital network.

Canada Pharmaceutical Market share, by type, 2023 (%)

Moreover, the clinics segment is anticipated to grow at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period. As clinics evolve and expand their healthcare services, pharmaceuticals will be crucial for a wide range of patient care, from managing chronic conditions to providing specialized treatments. With ongoing medical advancements, the role of pharmaceuticals in clinics is expected to grow, ensuring effective and accessible healthcare for Canadians. These drugs will be integral in shaping the future of healthcare services in clinics, offering innovative solutions to an ever-expanding range of medical needs.

Key Canada Pharmaceutical Company Insights

Market leaders are involved in extensive R&D for manufacturing cost-efficient products. Several strategies, such as mergers & acquisitions, undertaken by these organizations to expand their market presence are anticipated to create significant growth opportunities over the forecast period. For instance, in October 2020, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. unveiled the Novartis Canada Biome, an innovative hub to foster collaboration between emerging tech companies and individuals passionate about revolutionizing healthcare through data and digital technologies. This announcement was made during the virtual XEFFERVESCENCE event on Digital and AI in the Healthcare Industry alongside federal and provincial ministers and prominent industry and community organizations.

The Canadian Biome Digital Innovation Hub, situated in Montreal's dynamic AI community, is part of Novartis' global network, which began with the launch of the first Biome in Silicon Valley in 2018. The network has since expanded to the United Kingdom, France, India, and Canada.

Key Canada Pharmaceutical Companies:

The following are the leading companies in the Canada pharmaceutical market. These companies collectively hold the largest market share and dictate industry trends. Financials, strategy maps & products of these Canada pharmaceutical companies are analyzed to map the supply network.

  • F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.
  • Novartis AG
  • GlaxoSmithKline plc.
  • Pfizer, Inc.
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
  • AstraZeneca
  • Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc.
  • Sanofi
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • AbbVie, Inc.

Canada Pharmaceutical Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2024

USD 51.56 billion

Revenue forecast in 2030

USD 76.86 billion

Growth rate

CAGR of 6.88% from 2024 to 2030

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2018 - 2022

Forecast period

2024 - 2030  

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD billion and CAGR from 2024 to 2030

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, trends

Segments covered

Drug type, product, type, disease, route of administration, formulation, age group, end-use

Country scope


Key companies profiled

F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.; Novartis AG; GlaxoSmithKline plc; Pfizer, Inc.; Merck & Co., Inc.; AstraZeneca; Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc.; Sanofi; Eli Lilly and Company; AbbVie, Inc.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts’ working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options


Canada Pharmaceutical Market Report Segmentation

This report forecasts revenue growth and provides an analysis of the latest trends in each of the sub-segments from 2018 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the Canada Pharmaceutical market report based on drug type, product, type, disease, route of administration, formulation, age group, and end-user:

  • Drug type Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)

    • Biologics & Biosimilars (Large Molecules)

      • Monoclonal Antibodies

      • Vaccines

      • Cell & Gene Therapy

      • Others

    • Conventional Drugs (Small Molecules)

  • Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)

    • Branded

    • Generics

  • Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)

    • Prescription

    • OTC

  • Disease Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)

    • Cardiovascular diseases

    • Cancer

    • Diabetes

    • Infectious diseases

    • Neurological disorders

    • Respiratory diseases

    • Autoimmune diseases

    • Mental health disorders

    • Gastrointestinal disorders

    • Women’s Health Diseases

    • Genetic and Rare genetic diseases

    • Dermatological conditions

    • Obesity

    • Renal diseases

    • Liver conditions

    • Hematological disorders

    • Eye conditions

    • Infertility conditions

    • Endocrine disorders

    • Allergies

    • Others

  • Route of Administration Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)

    • Oral

    • Topical

    • Parenteral

      • Intravenous

      • Intramuscular

    • Inhalations

    • Other Routes of Administration

  • Formulation Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)

    • Tablets

    • Capsules

    • Injectable

    • Sprays

    • Suspensions

    • Powders

    • Other Formulations

  • Age Group Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)

    • Children & Adolescents

    • Adults

    • Geriatric

  • End-use Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)

    • Hospitals

    • Clinics

    • Others

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