The government said it would spend 477.9 billion won ($419.3 million) to help grow the pharmaceutical and biotech industry in 2019.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare finalized the decision at the meeting of the “committee for the first-phase growth and support of the pharmaceutical industry in 2019,” on Tuesday.
The committee reviewed a draft plan to nurture the pharma business in 2019 and a draft plan to extend the 2016 certification of innovative pharmaceutical companies. It also had a briefing on the result of a commissioned study on how to revise the certification process for innovative pharmaceuticals.
The latest decision on the spending for the pharma and biotech industry is a follow-up to the government’s five-year plan announced in December 2017. In 2018, the government allocated 432.4 billion won for the pharmaceutical sector.
Major tasks for the pharmaceutical sector this year includes R&D support for the artificial intelligence-based new drug development platform and building “smart clinical trial infrastructure.”
Seoul also decided to operate a public-private joint body to support drug exports, to upgrade the certification process for innovative pharmaceutical companies, and to run a pilot “institutional review board (IRB) mutual certification” to help drugmakers quickly and efficiently conduct clinical trials by 2021.
Meanwhile, seven drugmakers, designated as innovative pharmaceutical firms in 2016, are facing the expiration of the certification.
The health and welfare ministry will receive a renewal application by April 26, review for the renewal in May, and make the final decision in early June, it said.
The seven companies are Dong-A ST, Dongwha Pharm, Yungjin Pharm, Corestem, Pharma Research Products, Pharmicell, and Tego Science.
“The pharmaceutical and biotech industry is the key areas that can create jobs and add value through innovative growth,” Health and Welfare Minister Park Neung-hoo said.
The top healthcare policymaker emphasized that his ministry’s committee for the growth and support of the pharmaceutical industry will keep holding valuable discussions so that the sector could promote public health and offer quality jobs.
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