Soaring research costs, rampant illicit rebates and a gushing inflow of multinational drug giants following free trade pacts have come together to ignite the biggest crisis in years in Korea’s pharmaceutical industry. Heaping further pressure is the government’s push to slash drug prices and its sweeping crackdown on unfair trade practices, as well as economic uncertainties stemming from Europe.
To tackle the daunting challenges, local drug makers crafted a two-pronged strategy this year: Bet big on research and development, and jump on the biomedicine bandwagon. Generic manufacturing has long been a major source of revenue for most Korean pharmaceutical firms. That heavy reliance and their weak overseas presence caused them to shirk from drug development as it costs huge amounts of time and money with no assurance of success.
Reckoning the need for long-term growth strategies, however, a surging number of companies are stepping up efforts to reinforce their pipelines eyeing international markets.
Dong-A Pharmaceutical, the industry frontrunner, aims to make global inroads this year by cultivating novel products and raising exports to half of its sales. Green Cross, a leading vaccine producer, will notch up its R&D spending to 10 percent of revenue from 7 to 8 percent. It set a goal of posting 2 trillion won ($1.76 billion) each in domestic and overseas sales by 2020.
For full article see Korea Herald.