Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical Co., Japan’s biggest generic drug maker, will break into the markets in Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong in the next business year as its first overseas business expansion, its president and chief executive officer said Wednesday.
“We find it necessary to compete worldwide” as competition is growing tougher in the domestic market, Yuichi Tamura said at a press conference in Bangkok.
Generic drugs, which contain the same active ingredients of the original formulation, are produced and distributed after the patent protection of the original drugs expires. Demand for the inexpensive drugs is expected to increase in Southeast Asia against the backdrop of the region’s rapid economic growth, according to Nichi-Iko.
Nichi-Iko will sell seven to 13 generic drugs, including a cholesterol-lowering agent, in the three markets as soon as authorization is given by local authorities through sales routes established by DKSH Group of Switzerland, a leading market expansion service provider with focus on Asia, it said.
The company, based in Toyama Prefecture, will target affluent consumers in the three economies where generic drug sales are estimated to total the equivalent of 150 billion yen.
It hopes to capture a 1 percent share of the three markets combined within five years’ time as part of its plan to join the world’s top 10 generic drug makers during the period by doubling its sales to 130 billion yen, it said.
Nichi-Iko is now studying a market advance into Beijing, Shanghai and other Chinese cities, as well as Singapore and the United States, Tamura said.