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16 Jul 2018

South Korea's finished drug market growth driven by generics

FDF launches at CPHI Korea as country set to become regional hub.

South Korea's pharma market is experiencing significant growth in finished drug products, according to CPHI Korea. During the last 12 months, market conditions have spurred a strong expansion in exports of finished formulations, driven primarily by an expanding domestic generics market.

South Korea’s domestic companies are transitioning quickly to an export-oriented stance. According to the Korean Pharmaceutical Traders Association (KPTA), the export of domestic finished products is growing with a total volume of $2.6 billion in 2017. Domestic APIs are also seeing steady growth with a total volume of $1.6 billion exported in 2017.

“The rapid internationalisation of Korea has occurred as a result of the competitive pricing in the large domestic generics market, which has made Korean exports increasingly attractive. What we are now seeing is Korean companies targeting regional exports and even opening facilities overseas to capitalise on growth. As a result, we have seen a steady increase in international attendees and finished formulation companies,” commented Laura Murina, CPHI Korea Brand Manager.

CPHI Korea will host its fifth annual event at the Seoul COEX Convention and Exhibition Centre, 28-30 August 2018. The show is a bellwether of wider trends in the country and this year is set to launch the finished dosage formulation (FDF) zone in response to the growing demand. Over 5000 executives from 50 countries and more than 175 exhibitors will attend what is becoming a regional distribution hub for Asian pharmaceuticals.

In addition, in the last few years, co-located BioPh has become a focus of global and domestic attendee interest. South Korea is now a hot bed of biosimilar development and is on the cutting-edge of innovation with multiple European approvals.

Enhanced onsite features and new conference programmes at CPHI Korea 2018 will be dedicated to helping attendees navigate the Korean market and changing trends. The agenda explores the ‘implementation of ICH Q3D for APIs’, ‘USA complex generic & biosimilar regulatory approval process’, and emphasizing the internationalization of the market, a session from the PMDA on ‘future perspectives of GMP in Japan’.

With many international companies also looking to register products in Korea, the event has partnered with the KPTA for ‘meet the expert’ sessions to facilitate increased international-domestic partnerships.

Murina added: “South Korea has an expanding reputation for delivering high-quality pharma, and global companies are now taking advantage of quicker clinical trials, the niche biosimilar industry, and innovative local companies to develop partnerships. As a result, the API sector will continue to grow steadily, with domestic companies increasing exports. However, we are simultaneously seeing international companies take advantage of changing regulations and demographics to enter the market.”

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