Fast Market Research recommends "South Korea Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report Q1 2014" from Business Monitor International, now available
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/31/2013 -- South Korea continues to invest in pharmaceutical research and development (R&D). In one of the latest developments in this area, the South Korea Health Ministry announced in July 2013 that it will spend a total of KRW10trn (US$8.9bn) on projects to develop 20 new drugs over the next five years, in partnership with private domestic drugmakers. The government will also establish a KRW500bn (US $448mn) fund to help local pharmaceutical firms expand their presence globally. Additionally, despite the downgrade in South Korea's pharmaceutical market forecast as a result of poor sales in 2012, BMI expects that drug prices will continue to stabilise over the medium term.
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Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: KRW15,717bn (US$13.96bn) in 2012 to KRW16,088bn (US$13.99bn) in 2013; +2.4% in local currency terms and +0.2% in US dollar terms. Forecasts significantly lower in relation to the previous quarter, on account of downward revision of historical figures due to price cuts.
- Healthcare: KRW95,894bn (US$85.15bn) in 2012 to KRW101,673bn (US$88.41bn) in 2013; +6.0% in local currency terms and +3.8% in US dollar terms. Forecasts somewhat lower in relation to the previous quarter, on account of downward revision of historical figures for pharmaceutical values.
Risk/Reward Ratings: In our Q1 2014 regional ranking tool, South Korea remains placed among the top three out of the 18 countries surveyed in the Asia Pacific region. Its Rewards variable - in terms of both the Country and Industry components - is among the best in the region. The country also benefits from a largely transparent operating environment, although some issues remain regarding illegal rebates paid by pharmaceutical firms to clinicians in a bid to boost sales of their products. Additionally, we note that the climate of cost containment - required largely as the country is ageing at a relatively rapid rate - will continue to have a significant negative impact on the performance of the country's pharmaceutical market, though volume demand will mitigate this trend.
Key Trends & Developments
- In October 2013, South Korea's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety ordered a three-month suspension on sales of US drugmaker Pfizer's antibiotic Zithromax (azithromycin) in the country, following the discovery that the company had been supplying incorrect dosage information on the labels of the product sold. The ministry stated that Zithromax should be consumed after being mixed with 12ml of water, while the label erroneously instructed consumers to add 9ml of water. The incorrect information could result in an overdose of azithromycin.
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