SEOUL, May 24 (Korea Bizwire) – Recent anticipation predicts that Korea’s biosimilar market will grow to a 150-billion-won industry by 2019.
According to the Korea Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (KPMA), the industry, which was valued at 80 billion won in 2013, will grow to a 150 billion won market by 2019. The government’s active policy towards biosimilars, major companies’ establishment of large-scale production facilities, and new product launches are all contributing to growth.
Changes in price calculation methods for biosimilars may expand the market even further. The industry is currently demanding a price increase for biosimilars, which now sell for between 70 and 80 percent of the prices of the original medications.
Korean companies tend to focus less on developing new medicines, which require greater investment and have a higher risk of failure compared to biosimilars. In 2012, five biosimilars were approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, and twelve more biosimilars are undergoing clinical trials.
However, an increasing number of international pharmaceutical companies are entering the market, and the rise of Chinese and Indian companies who lead with price competitiveness may hinder the future growth of Korean companies. Continued patent infringement lawsuits by original manufacturers are also threatening domestic businesses.
“Although domestic biosimilar companies have the capacity for mass production, they are weak in terms of global sales networks,” said an official from the Korea Economic Research Institute. “They need to cooperate with global pharmaceutical companies to strengthen their international operations.”
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)