The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) celebrated small- and medium-sized pharmaceutical firms’ export deals at BIO KOREA 2019 at COEX, southern Seoul, on Wednesday.
The exporters took advantage of the government’s overseas pharmaceutical expert training program when clinching the deals.
The companies clinched the export contracts in the first quarter. Three Korean firms (CL Pharm, JJ Industry, and Penmix) and three foreign companies (Vita Biotech, Recipe Pharma, and Pharma Trust) participated in the signing ceremony.
Under the deals, local firms will ship out 18.3 billion won ($16.1 million) worth of medicines to China and eight Middle East countries, including Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
CL Pharm will export orally dissolving film tadalafil to China for five years, and Penmix, an antibiotic to Yemen.
JJ Industry will supply BIOCOOL, a product to relieve muscle and joint pain before and after exercise, for eight Middle East countries, including Yemen, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
The health and welfare ministry said the export deals were a successful outcome of the ministry and the KHIDI’s overseas pharmaceutical expert advice program since 2013.
Under the program, the government has been inviting international pharmaceutical exports to Korean companies for education and consulting, to spur domestic drug development and overseas market expansion.
For the past six years, the program yielded five cases of new drug development, three drug approvals overseas, and 34 cases of international partnerships and export deals, all of which were worth 250 billion won, the ministry said.
Last year, the program helped Korean drugmakers sign 34.8 billion won worth of export contracts to supply medicines in the Middle East, Europe, and Brazil.
Foreign pharmaceutical experts also ran a model plant inspection to help LG Chem’s plant in Osong, North Chungcheong Province, get GMP certification from Jordan’s health authorities.
Kang Do-tae, assistant minister in charge of healthcare policy at the health and welfare ministry, said the latest export contracts were the result of the combination of technological power of small- and medium-sized local drugmakers and strategies of foreign pharmaceutical experts.