Pfizer partners with Medochemie to make drugs in Vietnam

Vietnam has transformed its economy from one of the world’s poorest to one that is comfortably middle income. Pfizer has taken note and formed a partnership to manufacture some of its drugs in the rapidly growing Asian market.

The company has struck a deal with Medochemie, a Cyprus-based drugmaker with three manufacturing sites in Vietnam. Pfizer will transfer technology that will permit Medochemie to manufacture 11 of Pfizer’s products, including four sterile injectables and seven tablets.

“The partnership is aligned with the Vietnam government’s vision to boost and promote the development of the local pharmaceutical industry,” Pfizer spokesperson Roma Nair said in an email. “It brings Pfizer’s global technology and operations platform to manufacture Pfizer medicines in Vietnam that will also help raise local manufacturing standards to that of international developed markets.”

Medochemie has one site in Vietnam dedicated to tablets and capsules, one to gels and creams and a third that produces sterile injectables. Pfizer didn’t say how much will be invested in the operation, but the Vietnam Economic Times reports that Medochemie has invested $100 million in Vietnam to develop its sites. They have a total footprint of about 63,500 square meters and are making about 100 drugs in the country.

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Pfizer is following some of its competitors into the country. In 2016, Sanofi struck a deal with VinaPharm to invest $75 million in a Sanofi manufacturing facility in Ho Chi Minh City to make prescription, generic and over-the-counter drugs. The same year, Japan's Taisho paid $97 million for a minority stake in Vietnamese firm DHG Pharma. Abbott bought Vietnamese manufacturer Glomed for an undisclosed sum, adding two local manufacturing facilities.