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How are Korean drugmakers performing in China?
  • By So Jae-hyeon
  • Published 2018.04.17 15:12
  • Updated 2018.04.17 15:12
  • comments 0

The pharmaceutical industry is paying attention to how Korean drugmakers are faring in China after establishing local units there.

Beijing Hanmi Pharm, Yangzhou Yiyang, GC China, and Sichuan Daewoong Bio are the Chinese offshoots of Hanmi Pharmaceutical, Il-yang Pharmaceutical, GC Pharma, and Daewoong Pharmaceutical, respectively.

Among them, Beijing Hanmi Pharm posted the largest sales last year.

Established in 1996, Beijing Hanmi Pharm’s annual revenue rose 11 percent to 214.1 billion won ($200.5 million) in 2017 from 192.8 billion won a year earlier. Net profit also went up 12.3 percent to 29.2 billion won from 26 billion won in the previous year.

Hanmi’s unit in China has been selling intestinal drugs for children and cold remedies. The company recently built its R&D center and begun to develop new drugs.

Yangzhou Yiyang’s revenue grew 16.7 percent to 73.3 billion won last year from 62.8 billion won a year earlier. Net profit surged 26.5 percent to 6.2 billion won from 2.9 billion won during the same period.

In September, the Il-yang Pharm’s Chinese unit completed the construction of its plant that met the standards of European Union’s Good Manufacturing Practices. The company is focusing on raising local sales.

Il-yang Pharm also set up Tonghua Yiyang to concentrate on the sales of flagship restorative tonic Wonbi-D. The unit’s sales inched down 1 percent to 27.7 billion won in 2017 from 28 billion won a year earlier.

GC Pharma is targeting China with competitive biological products.

Established in Huainan in 1995, GC China has been mainly marketing albumin, immunoglobulin, and blood products. In 2017, its revenue posted 53.5 billion won, down 12.3 percent from 61 billion won a year earlier. However, net profit rose to 30.3 billion won last year.

Daewoong Pharm has three subsidiaries in China – Sichuan Daewoong Bio, Liaoning Daewoong Pharmaceutical, and Beijing Daewoong Pharmaceutical R&D Center.

Sichuan Daewoong Bio posted 28.3 billion won in sales last year, down 2.75 percent from 29.1 billion won in the previous year, and its net profit turned into a loss last year. Beijing Daewoong Pharmaceutical R&D Center marked 3.1 billion won in revenue.

Daewoong is pinning its hope on Liaoning Daewoong Pharmaceutical the most. The company not only produces but sells liquid raw materials. The firm plans to export liquid goods to Korea and Europe as well, hoping that the sales would grow further this year.

China’s pharmaceutical market has grown 13.2 percent every year on average from 743.1 billion yuan ($118.2 billion) to 1.12 trillion yuan in 2015, according to the Korea Bio-Economy Research Center. The market size is expected to reach 1.79 trillion yuan in 2020, the institute said.


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