Officials at pharmaceutical companies think the election of Donald J Trump as the USA president is a ‘crisis’. It can’t be meaningful because only 46 people participated in the survey, but is meaningful in terms of perspective coming from officials in charge of international affairs.
According to a mobile survey of ‘does Trump election affect Korean pharmaceutical companies?’ conducted by lawmaker Do-ja Choi, National Assembly Research Service for lawmaker advisors, pharmaceutical bio industry, etc., 44% of people surveyed say that is a ‘crisis’, only 28% say that is ‘an opportunity (50% for easing foreign medicine import, 17% for Obama care abolition, 17% for renegotiation or possible abolition of ‘Korea-USA FTA)’. The biggest reason for the crisis is ‘Obama care abolition’ (56%) followed by renegotiation or possible abolition of ‘Korea-USA FTA’ (28%)
The USA adopted the medical insurance for all populations in 2014, which resulted in growing the number of mandatory subscribers and because of the increase in grant payment rate the sales of prescription medicines were increased by 8-9% (2014-2015). But people worry because Trump is trying to abolish Obama care that leads to decrease in medical demand.
The Pharmaceutical bio industry has mixed opinions; 38% of people surveyed are ‘positive’ and 35% is ‘negative’. Officials say pharmaceutical bio industry needs to have power to cope with the situation where protectionism is growing.
In the conference of ‘bio pharmaceutical industry policy and reaction under the change of global affairs- a crisis or an opportunity in pharmaceutical bio industry’ hosted by the National Assembly Research Service and lawmaker Choi Do-ja, people argue we need to find foreign market through political changes and our own effort.
Prof. Lee Beom-Jin at Ajou University said “Korean status has been raised after joining PIC/S, ICH. To enhance pharmaceutical bio industry as national growth power, we need to make a policy to increase sales in pharmaceutical bio industry by cooperation between Korea and USA. Why are the sales in Korean new medicine an active low? Why doesn’t Zydena (medicine made for erectile dysfunction made in Korea) get permission from the FDA? In foreign countries, the standards of clinical trials and medicine production are raised. Even though clinical trials are good, if they can’t follow manufacturing technology, USA doesn’t give permission.”
He goes to say, “How can we follow regulations in advanced countries? Quality control should be available. The portion of domestic pharmaceutical industry is only 2% of the global market. It’s very low.”
To enhance pharmaceutical industry, existing policies need to be connected. He said “an integrated system is necessary. For example, a control tower under the prime minister’s office etc.”
Director Whang Soon-Wook at Korea Health Industry Development said the government assistance has been continued in accordance with ‘pharmaceutical industry enhancement policy’
He said to assist the pharmaceutical industry, technology exchange vitalization, tax break, industry enhancement; manpower training etc. is in progress.
He said, “Based on open technological innovation, Korean pharmaceutical companies and US counterparts should push for technology exchange and cooperation. The institute invited experts from foreign countries for consulting, technology exchange. But the government has to increase budget.”
The institute prepares for more assistance through the 2nd plan to enhance pharmaceutical industry for 5 years.
CEO Jung Yoon-Teik at Pharmaceutical Strategy Institute also predicts there is less likely to negotiate the drug approval-patent linkage system again, but appropriate compensation for new innovative medicines and medical products will be a problem. He said, “The USA represents its multi-national pharmaceutical companies and it is highly likely for the Trump administration to demand price compensation for innovative new medicines. The Korean government is trying to compensate and has the policy. We need more discussion for the issue.”
Kim Joo-Kyung at National Assemble Research Service said domestic bio pharmaceutical companies face much challenges. Mr. Kim said, “FDA modified some regulations such as pharmaceutical facilities, and national medicine code registration. It has tightened regulations, which makes Korean companies have trouble into the market. I will open my ears to help Korean pharmaceutical companies and make some measures such as political assistance and legislative deregulation.
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