Meanwhile, the western markets, whose pharma industrys have typically boasted robust growth, showed signs of stagnation. During 2007, the Asia-Pacific markets (excluding Japan) grew collectively by 13.3 per cent and now represent 11 per cent of the total global market, which during the same period grew 6.4 per cent to reach $712bn. Of the Asian group, China, Korea and India were the strongest performers, with China's market rocketing by 25.7 per cent and the other two growing by 10.7 per cent and 13.0 per cent respectively. "Robust economic growth and expansion of access to healthcare remains the primary driver of these markets," said the market intelligence firm report. Latin America was the next most dominant emerging location in terms of pharma market elevation, with the $42.4bn region also demonstrating a "rapid expansion" of 11.6 per cent. The two strongest countries were Brazil and Mexico, with Brazil's $15.7bn market growing by 9.7 per cent, and Mexico's rising by 7.5 per cent to reach $11.1bn. "Macroeconomic trends continue to expand these markets," said IMS. Similarly, the third major emerging pharma region, Central and Eastern Europe, witnessed a 10.9 per cent market expansion last year, and now totals $81.6bn. Among these markets Russia's earnings shot up by 20.2 per cent, as did Turkey's by 17.2 per cent. Overall, North America still dwarfs every other region in terms of its prescription drug market, accounting for 45.9 per cent of the global total, however, its growth rate "fell dramatically" during 2007, resulting in its market contribution to global growth declining to its "lowest point ever", at 25.5 per cent, said IMS. During the year, pharmaceutical sales in North America only grew by 4.2 per cent to $304.5bn, down from the 8.3 per cent rise witnessed the previous year. Meanwhile, Japan - the world´s second largest pharma market - did not fare so well either, with its revenue only elevating slightly - 3.6 per cent - to $65.2bn in 2007 over the year prior, although IMS did point out that this is actually higher than the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the prior five years. "This reflects limited impact from the biennial price cuts which occurred April 1, 2006 and will reoccur on April 1, 2008," said the firm. Moreover, across the five major European markets - France, Germany, UK, Italy and Spain - there is a similar picture of stagnation, with aggregate growth only reaching 4.8 per cent and the total market expanding to $140bn. Incidentally, the top 10 revenue-generating drugs across the world are: - Pfizer's Lipitor (atorvastatin; $13.5bn) - Sanofi-Aventis' Plavix (clopidogrel; $7.3bn) - AstraZeneca's Nexium (esomeprazole; $7.2bn) - GlaxoSmithKline's Seretide/Advair (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol; $7.1bn) - Amgen/Wyeth's Enbrel (etanercept; $5.3bn) - Eli Lilly's Zyprexa (olanzapine; $5.0bn) - Johnson & Johnson's Risperdal (risperidone; $4.9bn) - AstraZeneca's Seroquel (quetiapine; $4.6bn) - Merck's Singulair (montelukast; $4.5bn) - Amgen's Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa; $4.4bn).