Growing Demand of South Korean Pharmaceutical Drugs

According to latest industry reports in 2017, Japan is the major importer of pharmaceutical drugs and finished products from South Korea. This information was provided in a press release statement of Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-pharma Manufactuers’ Association.

Industry sources have confirmed that pharmaceutical drugs and finished products worth 3.12 billion dollars were exported from South Korea in 2017. Out of the total exports, pharmaceutical drug ingredients worth 304.6 million dollars were exported to Japan. Finished drugs exported to Japan were worth 158.1 million dollars. Thus, Japan imported pharmaceutical goods worth 462.8 million dollars from South Korea in 2017.

Another important destination for South Korean pharmaceutical drugs and products was Croatia. This country imported pharmaceutical drugs worth 397.8 million dollars from South Korea in 2017, followed by Ireland with a total import of 228.8 million dollars of drug ingredients from South Korea. Industry reports also presented top 10 export destinations for South Korean pharmaceutical products and drugs.

South Korea exported 208 $ million dollar worth pharmaceutical raw materials and finished goods to China, making it the no.1 export destination for South Korea. Another important export destination was Vietnam with total trade of 182 million dollars.

This was closely followed by Hungary, USA, and Brazil recording an export share of 135 million dollar, 116.2 million dollar, 113.2 million dollars, respectively, from South Korea. Finally, Germany and India were other important export destinations for South Korean pharma goods, with total market share of 80.9 million dollar and 77.8 million dollars, respectively.

Celltrion Healthcare is the biggest exporter of pharmaceutical drugs in South Korea. A leading biopharmaceutical firm, it reported robust growth in exports of biosimilar products, especially the ones required for treating autoimmune diseases. Its brand new biopharmaceutical drug Remsima received approval for commercial use in USA and Europe, thereby driving exports in unprecedented manner.

Yuhan and Green Cross were the other major exporters of pharmaceutical drugs in South Korea. Yuhan primarily exported pharmaceutical active ingredients to multinational companies all across the world, recording total exports of 246.4 billion won. Blood products manufactured by Green Cross were exported in large numbers, accounting for total exports of 203.8 billion won.

ST pharm was another major player exporting pharmaceutical active ingredients worth 165.5 billion won in 2017. Samsung Biologics also exported drugs worth 147.4 billion won, making it a global leader in the manufacture of biomedical products.

Dong-A ST was another major exporter of pharmaceutical products in South Korea, recording exports worth 146.8 billion won. It was closely followed by other major pharmaceutical exports, such as Suhueng, Kolon Life Science, Hanmi Pharmaceutical, Daewoong Pharmaceutical. 2017 year saw stupendous growth in pharmaceutical exports in South Korea, with top 10 players accounting for exports worth 2.12 trillion won.


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