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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs               6  September 2011

Generic drugs on the rise in Thailand

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Generic drug manufacturers could become more competitive by releasing more drugs when a number of patents expire in 2013, said local drug firm Berlin Pharmaceutical Industry.

Berlin's chief executive Amal Naj expects Thailand's pharmaceutical industry will be flooded with generics from both multinational and local companies in the next couple years as several of the top-10 selling drugs lose their patents.

Multinational drug companies are primed to release generics of their competitors, with India the largest supplier.

"Multinational drug companies will no longer claim their products are higher quality than local ones," said Mr Naj.

Local firms will also manufacture generics at lower costs, but medical professionals need to consider the quality of the drugs they prescribe, he added.

Berlin partnered with the Swiss-based pharmaceutical firm AcinoPharma to exclusively market a wide range of products for urological disorders, cancer, and pain treatment in Thailand.

Mr Naj said this pact strengthens Berlin's marketing of innovations and technologies, as well as its competitiveness when Asean Economic Community opens up the region in 2015.

Ruud Van Anraat, chief commercial officer of AcinoPharma, said the partnership will lead to more brand recognition of AcinoPharma in Southeast Asia.

Thailand's pharmaceutical industry is valued at 105 billion baht. Of the total, multinational companies account for more than 70 percent with the remainder local companies.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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