Indonesia pharma investment cap eyed as top firms plan new plants

Indonesia may allow higher foreign investment in drug companies as Kalbe Farma and state-run Kimia Farma move to build active pharmaceutical ingredient plants to combat persistent raw material shortages.

The details, outlined in a CPhl press release for an April conference, said the country's top drugmaker should see a biopharmacy raw material plant come online in West Java in late 2017 or 2018, citing Vidjongtius, who handles investor relations for Kalbe Farma, and who like many Indonesians uses one name.

The release also noted a recently announced plan for Kimia to build a pharmaceutical raw material plant this year in West Java.

Indonesia launched a phased program at the start of 2014 to provide universal health insurance, but has faced generic and other shortages as national rules require local manufacture of many pharmaceuticals.

The wider insurance coverage, however, has spurred demand, while a weaker rupiah this year has raised import costs.

In April of 2015, the Indonesian Pharmaceutical Association's group secretary, Kendrariadi Suhanda, said the domestic industry would need investments of more than $1 billion to build the facilities it would need to reduce its dependence on imports of raw materials.

- here's the release