South Korean Biosimilar Market

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The term ‘Biosimilar’ refer to those pharmaceutical products which are biologically similar versions of already existing popular drugs, the difference being that biosimilars are produced by a different manufacturer after the expiry of the original drug’s patent and they are more cost-effective than the original drug. The global biosimilar market has grown exponentially over the years due to several factors which include rising medical care costs, ageing world population and expensiveness of critical drugs.

It is expected that the global market for such drugs will be worth US $19.4 billion by 2014, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 89.1% from 2009 to 2014. This forecast is based on the keenness of pharmaceutical firms to develop biosimilars, due to their cost-effectiveness for patients, and upcoming expiration of several exclusive patents during the period, 2015-2020. As a result, several governments and private companies are gearing up to tap onto this market’s huge potential and keep themselves at the forefront. However, over the years, Asia has emerged as the major biosimilar market as of 2008, with 34.1% of the world market share, due to its rapid commercialization of biosimilar products and high rate of absorption due to their low costs.

Among the Asian counterparts, South Korea is gearing up to introduce its biosimilar products in the market, just in time of expiration of various drug patents. The government policies are being targeted towards the biosimilar market with a 19-times increase in the investment in biosimilars for the year 2010, as compared to 2009. As per the Korean Ministry of Knowledge and Economy around US$ 2 billion can be added to the country’s GDP and 120,000 more jobs can be created through the biosimilar market. The country`s business environment is also quite positive thanks to favorable governmental policies and investments done by local venture capitalists and various multi-national companies. The country boasts...
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