Since the across-the-board reduction of medical fees last April, most pharmaceutical companies have begun recovering, but the domestic medical supplies market still seems to be troubled. Out of the top 20 domestic and international pharmaceutical companies, only 5 were able to increase their sales since the first half of last year. Except for some pharmaceutical companies with new medicine exempt from the cost reduction, most domestic and international pharmaceutical companies have shown negative growth in their sales.
According to the domestic and international medical supplies sales reports by the market evaluation company IMS on August 26, total sales in the domestic medical supplies market dropped 3.6% to 6.721 trillion won (US$6.022 billion) from last year’s 6.971 trillion won (US$). IMS data shows sales of only prescribed and general pharmaceuticals, excluding non-paid pharmaceuticals such as vaccines and exports.
Negative Growth for Both Domestic and International Markets
According to this data, Pfizer Korea placed first in the domestic market with 271.3 billion won (US$243.6 million) in medical sales in the first half of this year. However, compared to the last year’s sales of 290.4 billion won (US$260.8 million), this is 6.6% negative growth. Novartis Korea ranked second in sales with 242.5 billion won (US$217.3 million), but this is also 1.7% less than last year’s records. MSD Korea, at 238.8 billion won (US$214.2 million), also showed negative growth of 1.8%.
Dong-A Pharmaceutical Company, ranking 1st in the country and 4th internationally, only made 213.6 billion won (US$191.8 million), which is 15.6% less than last year’s 253.2 billion won (US$227.4 million). Hanmi and Daewoong also recorded 209.8 billion won (US$188.4 million) and 203.6 billion won (US$182.4 million) each, dropping in sales compared to the first half of last year. Sanofi-Aventis (171.9 billion won, US$154.4 million) and JW Pharmaceuticals (135.3 billion won, US$121.2 million) dropped drastically. Yuhan, which ranked 1st in performance for the first half of this year, made 157.5 billion won (US$141.4 million), coming in as 11th and showing a 1.8% negative growth.
Green Cross and Boehringer Ingelheim Thrive
While most domestic and international pharmaceutical companies showed negative growth, five companies (Chong Kun Dang, Green Cross, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Korea BMS) showed increased sales. In fact, Boehringer Ingleheim marked the highest sales jump of 24.6% compared to the first half of last year. It sold 111.1 billion won (US$99.66 million) worth of medicine. Two products that showed good sales were Twynsta for high blood pressure and Trajenta for diabetes. AstraZeneca, which released a few new medicines recently, showed a 5.6% increase in sales to 136.3 billion won (US$122.3 million). Korea BMS (104.4 billion won, US$93.54 million), which owns a hepatitis B medicine named Baraclude worth 100 billion won (US$89.7 million), also showed an increase of 5.3% in sales. Among the domestic companies, Chong Kun Dang (176.4 billion won, US$158.4 million) and Green Cross (120.3 billion won, US$108 million) increased 3.3% and 3.0% each compared to the first half of last year.
A pharmaceutical representative said, “Since the cost reduction last year, the pharmaceutical market has turned so low that both the domestic and international companies are seeing decreased sales in their medical supplies,” and analyzed, “In fact, the domestic pharmaceutical market is shrinking even more drastically, since local companies are now turning to health functional foods and medical equipment areas.”