Updated on 31 January 2013
Local companies in Malaysia are yet to create a strong position in the international market. How do you see the domestic companies rising to global standards?
This is a mistaken perception. The pharmaceutical industry in Malaysia is one of the most open pharmaceutical markets in ASEAN and as a result all industry players have taken it upon themselves to penetrate the export market to different degrees. For example, HOVID, a home-grown Malaysian company already exports to about 40 countries whilst the other pharmaceutical companies in Malaysia export to approximately 25 countries around the world.
Among the impediments to growing the export market has been the lack of a level playing field when competing with our regional competitors. Malaysia celebrated its 10th year anniversary as a member of the Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme (PIC/s) in 2012. The standards required under this scheme have required massive investment by all members of MOPI.
Unfortunately, up to 2011, only Singapore was a member of PIC/s among ASEAN countries leading to a disparity in the manufacturing cost base among ASEAN countries. Regional harmonisation will lead to a more level playing field and should assist the Malaysian pharmaceutical manufacturers in their efforts to penetrate the regional market.
What was the size of Malaysia pharmaceutical industry in 2011-12?
The estimated size of the Malaysian pharmaceutical industry for 2011-12 is approximately $1.4-1.5 billion.
Where is the current focus of the Malaysian pharmaceutical industry? Is it towards innovative drug discovery or generics drugs?
Principal focus of Malaysia industry is in the development of generics and a few on biosimilars. Currently there are two Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) manufacturers in Malaysia. Generic pharmaceutical industry has huge potential to be a major driver in Malaysia's quest to be a high-income nation by 2020.
Development of an active API Industry is also important for MOPI members. Fine Chemical manufacturing in Malaysia is still in it's infancy but as it develops, we would very much like to see more API manufacturers setting up in Malaysia supporting our members in their quest to become major exporters.