Fewer blockbusters drugs are expected to go off-patent post 2015, resulting in a scarcity of opportunities for generic companies in Asia. Hence, generic drug manufacturers in the region are looking beyond the patent cliff to focus on market expansion and improving the quality of existing drugs. Certain established generic manufacturers are restructuring their business models and investing heavily in research and development of new molecules, although the impact of these efforts will take a minimum of five years to be clear.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Patent Cliff and the Future of Generics in Asia, finds that the generics market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17-18 percent between 2014 and 2018. India is a major market for generic drug manufacturing, followed by South Korea and Japan. Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan also offer immense promise.
The domestic consumption of generics in Asia is expected to rise due to government initiatives:
• Japan: The government aims to increase the volume of generic prescriptions from the 25 percent in 2012 to 60 percent by 2018.
• India: The new government’s universal health plan will roll out this year and cover the entire population by 2019. The state governments are promoting the use of generic medicines in state-run public hospitals to cut down on healthcare costs.
• Indonesia: The universal health coverage scheme implemented in January 2014 is driving the demand for medicines.
“Large drug brands have also opened their own generics division to counter the patent cliff and sustain global market shares,” said Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Industry Manager Siddharth Dutta. “Pharmaceutical companies are expected to particularly invest in new chemical entities (NCE) and super generics in the next three to five years and generic manufacturers in countries like Malaysia are looking for new markets like Brazil and other Latin American countries.”
The patent cliff creates challenges for generic manufacturers too:
• Price erosion driven by competition, payer reimbursement pressure, customer consolidation, and the emergence of large buying groups;
• Pharmaceutical strategies to address the generic threat ahead of loss of exclusivity;
• Perception issues related to quality;
• Changing business models, such as mergers, partnerships, and generic manufacturers entering the super generics market.
Manufacturers must adopt both long- and short-term strategies as well as simultaneously position themselves in the local and global markets to boost revenue. While big manufacturers need to focus on therapeutics and products with limited active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) availability, mid-sized manufacturers should focus on products with relatively higher profit margins.
“For instance, catering to high-margin niche product segments offered Indian generic participants an advantage in the anti-depressant market and first-mover opportunity in 2014,” explained Dutta. “Indian generic manufacturers are likely to renew their strategy in 2015 while looking for new markets. Meanwhile, Asian generic manufacturers from Malaysia and Singapore are expected turn their attention to Latin American markets to widen their footprint in the region.”
Patent Cliff and the Future of Generics in Asia is a Market Insight that is part of the Life Sciences (lifesciences.frost.com) Growth Partnership Service program. The study analyses the trends that will impact the generics market in the short term, outlining drivers and challenges as well as offering recommendations for drug manufacturers in the region.
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Patent Cliff and the Future of Generics in Asia / P860-52
Contact: Melissa Tan - Corporate Communications Asia Pacific
P: +65 6890 0926 / F: +65 6890 0999 - E: melissa.tan[.]frost.com.