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Pfizer expands into local generic drug market

Jakarta | Tue, May 8 2012 | 12:12 pm

Pfizer, the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company, says it will expand into the Indonesian generic drug market, allocating US$3 million to increase its factory capacity and lift its local market share in the local pharmaceutical market.

The firm’s local subsidiary, Pfizer Indonesia, is currently in talks with the National Drug and Food Monitoring Agency (BPOM) to realize the plan by the end of the year, before the government implements its social security system (SJSN) to provide health insurance to people.

Pharmaceutical firms expect the demand for medicine and healthcare services in Indonesia to grow significantly in the next five years, as the nation’s BPJS (Social Security Providers) law mandates the establishment of a new health insurance entity for low-income people to get full coverage for severe or complicated illnesses.

Pfizer Indonesia director Widyaretna Buenastuti said on Monday that although the profit margin from generic drugs was low, this could be offset by the potential size of Indonesia’s market.

The expansion into generic drugs was aimed at widening the company’s market share, Widya said.

Pfizer Indonesia market share in Indonesia’s pharmacy market is currently 11 percent, ranking 5th —down two positions from last year—among local rivals PT Kalbe Farma (KLBF), PT Kimia Farma (KAEF) and PT Indofarma (INAF).

“We offer an alternative for doctors when distributing medicine to patients, with no difference in quality between generic and our research-based drugs,” she added.

Pfizer Indonesia began expansion to meet anticipated demand for pharmaceutical drugs, with a total investment of $3 million to increase its factory’s capacity by 50 percent.

The company’s headquarters in New York said that it would be ready to operate the expanded Indonesian factory by the end of 2012.

“With a population of 245 million, I don’t think the production capacity of Indonesia’s existing pharmacy factories will be enough to satisfy demand after the SJSN is implemented,” Widya said. (nad)

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