Korean pharmaceutical and biosimilar companies have recently stepped up their efforts to sell and advertise their products overseas. Despite accelerating marketing efforts, however, most of them still produce press releases in Korean and provide the materials only for vernacular media outlets.
To be sure, the domestic companies have successfully exported their products through licensing and supply agreement as well as technology transfers until now without the help of English media. This is time, however, for Korean drugmakers to realize the need to advertise their products and businesses in English, and how they could reach future customers in areas they haven’t even considered.
Since its inception a year ago, Korea Biomedical Review has received many e-mails and contacts from various foreign pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare providers wanting to get in touch with Korean companies on specific products.
One of such examples was related to GC MS, a subsidiary of GC Pharma, formerly known as Green Cross.
Earlier this year, this newspaper received an e-mail from the Referans Medikal, a Turkish medical device company regarding one of GC MS’s products. “The company has read your article regarding GC MS’s Greencare A1c device and are keen to know more about the product,” the e-mail read. “If it does not bother you please reach out to them on our behalf.”
The article Referans was referring to was a short press release about GC MS’s intention of selling its product in global markets. The article included only basic information about the product, but it was enough to catch the attention of a foreign pharmaceutical company not yet known in Korea.
When this reporter passed along the information to GC MS, the company seemed quite surprised that it received an inquiry about their product from Turkey.
The e-mails this paper receives are not limited to only finished products.
In September last year, we received an e-mail from Accelsiors, a clinical research organization (CRO) based in Hungary, requesting us to introduce it to a representative of Ahngook Pharmaceuticals regarding AG-B1512, the company’s growth hormone deficiency medication.
“Accelsiors CRO is a scientifically-driven CRO, actively involved in supporting growth hormone deficiency trials. We have conducted the majority of all GHD trials in the past 15 years,” the e-mail said. “Our company was wondering if you’re outlet have any further news about AhnGook’s AG-B1512 Long-acting human growth hormone program.”
The writer went on to say, “They presented some pre-clinical results at ENDO 2017, which were promising and now they received funding. Please introduce us to an Ahngook representative it will be much appreciated,” she added.
Although this paper has not yet seen any finalized outcome from such contacts, it is certain that global companies are paying keen attention to Korea’s medical industry. Such interests will only grow as domestic companies increasingly intend to expand their business to overseas markets. To catch the eyes of foreign companies, however, local companies have to start introducing their products outside of the country.
The Korean pharmaceutical industry has sufficiently proved that it can develop exceptional drugs. Now is the time for the sector to consider whether it is reaching all of its prospective foreign buyers.
As Phil Knight, the CEO of the multinational sportswear company Nike, once said: "You can have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, what good is it?"