Outside of the main markets in China, Japan and India in Asia are closely followed plays in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam with the last two among 11 nations that signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.
Indonesia may allow higher foreign investment in drug companies as Kalbe Farma and state-run Kimia Farma moved to build active pharmaceutical ingredient plants to combat persistent raw material shortages.
Healthcare spending in Indonesia is expected to grow strongly in the near to medium-term, according to a report summary from Business Monitor International (BMI).
At the end of 2015, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will launch an economic union that has already seen a slew of device and drug companies start or expand regional hubs in Singapore to sell into those markets.
Indonesia is working to bolster its domestic drugmaking and state-controlled drugmaker Kimia Farma has a list of projects in the works to help that happen. Its most recent is to build a manufacturing facility that will boost its production of herbal medicines.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical has applied to sell multidrug-resistant tuberculosis drug Delamanid in Indonesia and join hands with fellow Japanese firm Nipro to ramp up diagnostic efforts, the Nikkei Asian Review reports.
Indonesia's top drugmaker, Kalbe Farma, said it now sees sales growth this year at 7%, revising down from an 11% aim even as it plans regional expansion as a sharp drop in the currency hits the bottom line.
Indonesia's Kalbe Farma is making this year an expansion year as it moves beyond its shores and into Singapore and Thailand and their over-the-counter drug markets as a regional trade pact looks set to start at the end of the year. It also has corporate eyes set on even more countries, with a focus on West Africa.
Once again, more than half of the countries on the U.S. Trade Representative's Priority Watch List for insufficient intellectual-property protection are in Asia. Four other Asia countries also were named to the Watch List as being of lesser concern.
Vietnam has become the 39th nation cleared for global exports of the vaccines it makes, joining an increasingly crowded field of local champions to multinational heavyweights. The World Health Organization gave that clearance recently for a country that expects to be a leading producer within the next 20 to 30 years.