Medicines industry a key to Asian opportunity

The Government’s Australia in the Asian Century report, released today, highlights the opportunity provided by the Australian medicines industry for Australia to engage with the emerging markets in the Asian region, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said today.

“The Australian medicines industry is already helping to drive Australia’s engagement with the Asian region and there are further opportunities ahead,” Dr Shaw said.

“Medicines are among Australia’s largest manufacturing exports to Asia, and with Australia’s latent competitive strengths in this area, we have the potential to grow this significantly.

“We are already seeing companies like CSL, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline supplying Asian markets from their operations in Australia and, if we get the policy settings right, we can build further on these opportunities.

“As well as supplying things like blood products, asthma medicines and flu medicines to Asia, the Australian industry is also supplying services like clinical trials and health economic analysis to the Asian economies.

“Over the next five years emerging markets will double their share of the global medicines market from 14 per cent to 30 per cent and account for most of the growth in the global market, with Asia accounting for a significant part of that.

“With rapid growth, rising incomes and a growing middle-class, Asian markets are likely to see increased demand for prescription medicines and this provides Australian researchers, biotech companies and fully-fledged medicine companies with real opportunities.

“The challenge is to ensure we get our policy settings right including programs to boost Asian engagement coming out of the Australia in the Asian Century report. We need a comprehensive response to the Manufacturing Taskforce Report, we need to maintain predictable policies in health, IP and innovation, and to develop a strategy to put Australia more on the radar screen of the global medicines industry.

“There’s no doubt we have the capability to engage with Asian economies even more through our strengths in the medicines industry. Examples today already prove we can. The challenge is to capitalise on the opportunities we have and drive that engagement further.”


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