Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co.’s Rosuzet. [Courtesy of Hanmi Pharmaceutical]
South Korea’s Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co. has managed to reduce reliance on sales from imported drugs in the first half of this year as demand for self-developed medicines grows.
According to Hanmi Pharmaceutical on Monday, sales of imported drugs reached 47.8 billion won ($36 million) in the first six months of this year, down 6.3 percent from the same period a year ago. Sales came to 703.9 billion won, reducing the proportion of sales from imported drugs to 6.8 percent during the period.
In 2018, imported drugs accounted for nearly 10 percent of its entire sales.
Hanmi Pharmaceutical’s success in reducing its dependence on imported drugs lies in growing demand for its in-house drugs.
The company’s sales of self-developed medicines soared to 1.2 trillion won last year from 800 billion won in 2018.
Among major Korean pharmaceutical companies, Hanmi Pharmaceutical is the only company to achieve 1 trillion won in annual sales of its own drugs.
The company is expected to continue its growth trend for the third consecutive year this year, with sales of its own products reaching 650 billion won in the first half.
Among its self-developed products are Rosuzet, a treatment for complex hyperlipidemia, and Amosartan, a hypertension treatment.
Rosuzet, launched in 2015, is a combination drug that combines the active ingredients rosuvastatin and ezetimibe to treat hyperlipidemia.
Thanks to its market penetration and the popularity of combination drugs, the medicine has continued to record sales in the 100 billion won range for three consecutive years since 2020.
The drug is expected to raise more than 100 billion won in sales given that its sales reached 62 billion won in the first half.
Amosartan, a product created by combining the hypertension treatment ingredients amlodipine and losartan, has been Hanmi Pharmaceutical’s flagship product since its launch in 2009, with cumulative prescription sales exceeding 1 trillion won. Sales in the first half have already reached 49.5 billion won.
Hanmi Pharmaceutical’s sales structure stands out even when compared to other major Korean pharmaceutical companies.
Most Korean pharmaceutical companies have grown by importing and selling new drugs from multinational pharmaceutical companies.
Many pharmaceutical companies such as Yuhan Corp., Jeil Pharmaceutical Co., and others still rely on external drugs for around 50 percent of their sales. This sales structure has been raising concerns about only fattening overseas pharmaceutical companies’ profits.
There are also concerns that Korean companies’ profit margins may deteriorate as competition intensifies among them trying to distribute the drugs.
By Kim Jee-hee and Yoon Yeon-hae
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]