Thailand 4.0 looks to pharma to provide healthy returns

Thailand’s aspiration to become a leading destination for pharmaceuticals has received a shot in the arm with the country recently hosting the major CPhI Southeast Asia trade show.

As part of its Thailand ‘4.0 initiative’, a sector-specific policy aiming to transform Thailand’s economy, the Thai government wants to make Thailand a world-class provider of medical care. An aging population, plus rising rates of non-communicable diseases, are driving growth in Thailand’s medical industry, particularly in pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

The country’s pharmaceutical industry is expected to grow to $9.47 billion by 2020, up from $5.91 billion size in 2015, according to research firm GlobalData.

Major B2B events organiser UBM brought its CPhI Southeast Asia pharma event to Bangkok for the first time this month (12-14 March 2019), in conjunction with the Thai Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and Board of Investment (BOI).

CPhI’s first event in Thailand comes at a significant time for the country, as the growth in pharma sales has multinational corporations increasingly looking to partner with local contract manufacturers in order to expedite and streamline market access.

Previous editions of CPhI Southeast Asia have been held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Chris Kilbee, Group Director, Pharma at UBM, said: “This is very much a natural progression for the CPhI South East Asia and the region, opening even greater opportunities to meet new partners and expand pharma sales. Collectively, these two countries account for over 50% of the region’s sales. Our research shows there is large opportunity, in particular, for contract services and ingredients.”

Growth in Thailand’s pharmaceutical industry has been bolstered by the country’s compliance with the manufacturing standards of the Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme (PIC/S). The country is also encouraging investment in the pharmaceutical sector through corporate income tax exemptions.

Thailand is also set to benefit from amendments to the Patents Act 2017 – which enables an expedited Thai patent application for companies with existing patents from Australia, China, the EU, Japan, South Korea and the US – further cementing international interest.

Kilbee added: “The 2019 edition will open increased international opportunities for domestic manufacturers in Thailand that have not yet had the capacity or partners to expand regionally.”

The inaugural edition of CPhI South East Asia in Bangkok was co-located with CPhI: pharma ingredients; P-MEC: machinery, technology and equipment; ICSE: contract manufacturing and services; InnoPack: packaging and drug delivery systems; LABworld: laboratory, analytical and biotech equipment, and FDF: every aspect of the finished dosage supply chain. Attracting some 5,000 pharma ingredients professionals, packaging experts, machinery providers and contract manufacturing, as well as nutraceutical companies and laboratory specialists, it aimed to facilitate a collective environment that will stimulate the next stage in ASEAN pharma expansion.


(via Quartz, CPhI)