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71 pharmaceutical CEOs gather to boost new drug development
  • By Jeong Sae-im
  • Published 2019.10.30 12:40
  • Updated 2019.10.30 14:01
  • comments 0

Pharmaceutical and biotech businesses have got together to strengthen their commitment to developing new drugs, as the industry faces both an opportunity and a crisis.

The Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association (KPBMA) held a workshop for CEOs at Imperial Palace Hotel, Seoul, on Tuesday. Seventy-one heads of the member companies, including Yuhan Corp. CEO Lee Jung-hee, GC Pharma CEO Huh Eun-chul, and Daewoong Pharmaceutical CEO Yoon Jae-chun, attended the meeting.

CEOs of pharmaceutical and biotech companies attend a workshop, organized by the Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association, at Imperial Palace Hotel, southern Seoul, on Tuesday.

Under the theme, “Where are we now?” the KPBMA-organized event was the first occasion where pharmaceutical CEOs gathered in one place.

KPBMA President Won Hee-mok said in his greeting, “I wanted to have an opportunity to communicate directly with CEOs to talk about our issues. Today, we have a meeting to talk honestly about our reality and share our thoughts to move forward, regardless of our business outcomes.”

CEOs shared the view that the pharmaceutical industry is at a crossroads of opportunity and crisis.

Although the government vowed to nurture the industry as the nation’s new growth engine, it also enhanced regulations on joint bioequivalence tests in the wake of the valsartan recall, revised the drug pricing policy, and made drug distribution more transparent.

People’s anticipation for new drugs has also come down recently after biotech firms failed to prove the efficacy of new medicines in phase-3 trials.

It was against this backdrop KPBMA organized the event, checking the current status of the industry and talking about the future direction. The association’s board chair Lee Jung-hee, CEO of Yuhan, led the discussion. President Won made a presentation, and a free debate followed. The whole process was closed-door.

In the 80-minute debate, CEOs agreed that they needed open innovation among industry, academia, research, the government, and hospitals to create successful cases of developing new drugs.

“The participants expressed various opinions on open innovation, entry into the global market, drug approval, manufacturing, and distribution, said Lee Jae-guk, a KPBMA director, in a separate media briefing. “The CEOs shared the view that they could make successful models if they abide by the basic rules of new drug development despite many obstacles,”

The top managers also agreed that the industry should join forces to be able to take high risk and high cost in R&D investment. They also hoped that the government would help them collaborate with research institutes for new drug development, according to Lee.

“The participants also emphasized that KPBMA should play an important role in new drug development,” Lee said. “They asked the association to deliver the industry’s opinion to government agencies actively and set up a task force for each area of the industry.”


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