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KPBMA lays out plans for 2018
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2017.12.18 13:59
  • Updated 2017.12.18 13:59
  • comments 0

The Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association (KPBMA) laid out a “five-step business plan” for next year at a news conference Monday.

KPBMA Chairman Won Hee-mok

The plan unveiled by KPBMA Chairman Won Hee-mok, calls for, among others, establishing a center which supports the artificial intelligence (AI)-based new drug development and strengthening sales in global markets.

“To strengthen the research and development capabilities of the pharmaceutical industry, we are promoting the establishment of an AI center,” Won said. “To formulate such a plan, we discussed business cooperation with the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) and the Korean Conformity Laboratories (KCL), and concluded a memorandum of understanding.”

Won noted that domestic pharmaceutical industry’s interest in AI relates to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is the subject of global economy, and the drug development process in which success rate was dropping despite the rising costs.

The association is preparing to launch a committee to spearhead the establishment of the AI center next January and has started to work on the staff, budget, office, and a committee head.

The pharmaceutical industry group also vowed to strengthen global market sales. According to the association, domestic pharmaceutical companies are actively advancing into the global market, winning recognition of their competitiveness in the worldwide market and renewing the annual export of medicines, which reached 3.62 trillion won ($3.32 billion) last year.

“In addition to new drugs and incrementally modified drugs, generic drugs, biosimilars, and rare disease treatments are also proving their global competitiveness,” Won said. “Korean pharmaceutical companies plan to further expand overseas markets, especially in Europe, in 2018.”

To reach its goal, the association plans to strengthen exchanges with government agencies and pharmaceutical associations in “pharmerging markets,” which is a new term for countries with emerging pharmaceutical market with high growth potential and low clinical development cost. It has also signed MOUs with advanced countries and associations, such as the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations.

In the news conference, Won addressed other essential goals such as improving the quality, establishing ethical management and enhancing distribution transparency, as well as innovating the industry and the association's operational.

“The pharmaceutical industry will become the national future growth engine following the semiconductor industry,” Won said. “Therefore, the association plans to foster the industry properly by becoming an association for the industry and not for a single company.”

To achieve such goals the association plans to go through internal reforms and external reforms next year, Won added.


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