The statement comes courtesy of spokesman for the French pharma giant, Frederic Lemonde-San, who spoke with in-Pharmatechnologist.com after the company announced plans for investment in Southeast Asia.
The new facility in Ho Chi Minh City is Sanofi’s largest investment in Vietnam to date and will both expand manufacturing capacity and serve as an export platform for the region.
“Emerging markets have been identified as one of our growth platforms and are among the pillars of our overall strategy,” said Lemonde-San who added that with regards to multinationals in Vietnam, Sanofi “is the market leader with a market share of 4%” whilst “GSK and Novartis are respectively” in second and third place.
The new plant will produce products including pharmaceuticals (prescription and generics) and consumer healthcare products, though will not manufacture injectables. Operations are set to begin by the end of 2015 with an initial capacity of 90 million units and the plant will join Sanofi’s existing 40 manufacturing sites in emerging markets.
According to Sanofi’s end of year results for FY2012, emerging markets were responsible for 31.9% of sales last year, overtaking the traditional markets of the US and Europe for the first time. The Asian market contributed almost €2.8bn ($3.6bn) to the company’s total revenue.
“In 2012, we strengthened our Emerging Markets growth platform with the agreement to acquire Genfar SA, a leading pharmaceuticals manufacturer headquartered in Bogota, Colombia,” said Lemonde-San. “Also, we acquired the rights to lines of generic products for Sub Saharan Africa and for Vietnam.”
He continued: “With these acquisitions, Sanofi intends to become a market leader in both Colombia and Nigeria, and has expanded its portfolio of affordable pharmaceuticals in Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia.”
Lemonde-San’s words reflect those of Sanofi’s CEO, Christopher Viehbacher, who – speaking in February in a conference call to shareholders – said:“Key regions of Asia, of Latin America and Middle East, Africa continued to grow at double digits. My personal view is… I still believe that Emerging Markets is the single biggest growth lever that this industry has.”