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Multinational drugmakers sweep local sales in Q3
  • By So Jae-hyeon
  • Published 2017.12.04 16:08
  • Updated 2017.12.04 16:08
  • comments 0

Multinational pharmaceutical companies have swept the local sales in the third quarter, industry data showed Monday.

According to data from IMS Health obtained and analyzed by Korea Biomedical Review, multinational firms took up 18 out of the 20 top-selling drugs in the first three quarters of this year.

Lipitor, an anti-cholesterol drug by Pfizer, topped the local drug market with 98.83 billion won ($90.9 million) in accumulated sales by the third quarter. The revenue was up 7.3 percent from 92.11 billion won a year earlier.

Gilead also showed remarkable sales in the nine months, putting its two products on the list of top five. Viread, a treatment for hepatitis B by Gilead, sold 97.28 billion won by the third quarter this year, ranking second. The sales of Viread were up 13.1 percent from a year earlier.

Gilead’s another drug Sovaldi, a treatment for hepatitis C, also showed a rapid growth in accumulated sales. Sovaldi, which ranked fourth in accrued sales, sold 66.18 billion won by the third quarter, recording a 25.4 percent increase from a year earlier.

Roche’s oncological drug Herceptin, Boehringer Ingelheim’s hypertension treatment Twynsta, and BMS’ hepatitis B drug Baraclude made it to the top 20 list but suffered a declined in their respective year-on-year accumulated sales.

Baraclude, once the top-selling drug, saw its sales fall 22.7 percent year-on-year to 49.96 billion won by the third quarter, from 64.67 billion won a year ago. It apparently lost power in competition against Viread and other generic drugs.

Pfizer’s Champix, a treatment for nicotine addiction, had the fastest growth in sales this year. With a smoking cessation fever in Korea and the government’s support for the antismoking campaign, the drug’s accumulated sales surged 45 percent to 52.72 billion won by the third quarter from the same period of last year.

Astellas’ Prograf, an immunosuppressive drug, and Eisai’s dementia treatment Aricept are very successful in the local market, as they have few rivals here.


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