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Korea’s medical supplies market grew to $17.3 billion last year
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2017.07.06 16:49
  • Updated 2017.07.06 17:55
  • comments 0

The nation’s market of medicine and medical supplies increased 12.9 percent from 2015 to 21.7 trillion won ($18.7 billion) last year, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said Thursday.

The medicine and medical supplies production increased 10.8 percent last year to about 18.8 trillion won, accounting for 1.15 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product and 4.31 percent of the manufacturing industry’s GDP.

Notes:1. Market size = production – export + import2. Import share = import amount / market size * 1003. The export and import amount is the calculated in won after applying the annual average currency rate according to the Bank of Korea’s Economic Statistics System (ECOS)
Source: Ministry of Food and Drug Safety

Exports totaled $3.1 billion in 2016, recording a 5.9 percent increase from 2015, and a 50 percent increase over the past five years.

Biomedical products made a significant impact, amounting to about 1 billion won, or 34 percent of total medical product exports. Biomedical products exports saw an annual increase of 31.5 percent from 2015 and a 29.8 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the past five years.

The increase in biomedical products is attributable to a lot of biosimilar exports last year, according to the ministry. Celltrion’s Remsima came in first with 6 billion won of exports, recording a 44.5 percent increase from 2015. Remsima accounted for 59.7 percent of all biomedical product exports.

Note: 2016 GDP is based on preliminary standards. The final GDP will be announced next year March.Material: Bank of Korea ECOS
Source: Ministry of Food and Drug Safety

Imports also rose 13.8 percent to $5.63 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $2.5 billion, compared with the trade shortfall of $2 billion in 2015.

“The latest increase in the production and exports of medicine and medical supplies are attributable to the efforts of the pharmaceutical industry to develop new products," Minister of Food and Drug Safety Sohn Mun-gi손문기 said. "And the country’s recent joining of the International Conference on Harmonisation and the Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention and Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme also helped.”

In addition, the government has also provided technical and policy support to achieve these numbers, he added.

“We will continue to seek international harmony while increase the domestic pharmaceutical industry’s competitiveness by reforming regulatory procedures,” Minister Sohn said.


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