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The Outlook for Pharmaceuticals in North East Asia
Date:11/15/2011

other three countries, but it remains one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical markets in the world, in tandem with the country's rapid economic expansion. The influx of foreign multinationals has offered continued investment, and production plants and R&D facilities are being expanded all the time. Improvements in regulatory practices are making the ability to sell imported products quicker and easier, while the lowering of tariffs on imported goods and an increase in transparency of legislation has made a notoriously hard-to-penetrate market a more attractive proposition for overseas companies. These are positive moves, but concerns remain in key areas such as IP protection.

Highlights from the region

CHINA

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has made lowering drug prices a top priority for health authorities in 2011. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) implemented two rounds of drug price reductions in 2011, one in March and the other in September. Most of the drugs reduced were manufactured by multinationals, which had previously not been subject to pricing controls. In July 2011, the MoH revealed that it may introduce mandatory licensing policy to secure cheaper drugs for HIV/AIDS patients, as part of the country's universal health coverage programme. In January 2011, the MoH announced that the Essential Drugs List would be further expanded to cover nearly all government-sponsored grass-roots health institutions.

JAPAN

Takeda is the largest Japanese pharmaceutical manufacturer in terms of sales, and has been by a considerable margin for some time. Other leading domestic producers include Astellas, Daiichi Sankyo and Eisai. Over the past five years, the fastest growing pharmaceutical companies have been Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Kyowa Hakko Kirin Company, Shionogi & Co Ltd. and Otsuka. The leading foreign pharmaceutical companies in terms of sales in Japan are Pfizer, Roche
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