Hovione aims to be big in Japan, citing growing demand for generic APIs

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

Osaka, Japan (iStock/littlewormy)
Osaka, Japan (iStock/littlewormy)

Related tags: Pharmaceutical drug, Pharmacology

Hovoine has opened a sales office in Osaka, Japan citing growing demand for generic APIs and manufacturing services.

The Portuguese active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturer will use the office to try and win new clients. It will provide customers with support according to Roger Viney, off patent APIs Senior Director.

He told us “Hovione has been present in the Japanese market for over 40 years. Our business for both generic APIs and contract manufacturing is growing.

We see further significant opportunities in both business segments. Our business is focused on high quality and differentiated technologies which fit well with the Japanese market needs​.”

Hovione will supply Japanese customers with drug active made at facilities in Portugal, China and Macau all of which have been approved by the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) Viney said.

Day to day running of the Osaka office will be managed Japanese pharmaceutical industry veteran Yasushi Usuda, whose local knowledge fits with another motivation opening the office.

Hovione wanted to have a local office to offer the highest level of service to our customers as we understand the unique business culture of Japan​" viney added.

Generic push

The Japanese Government has been trying to promote use of generic drugs since 2007​ when it said it wanted to increase the market share held by non-branded meds from 17% to 30% by 2012.

Generic use has increased, although not as rapidly as expected. In 2013, 28% of all drugs sold in Japan were non-branded products.

The Government’s response has been to intensify its efforts through various measures introduced by the Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare (MHLW) in 2014 – including price reductions​.

The MHLW has reiterated that it wants generic drugs to hold 60% market share by the end of fiscal 2017 (here in Japanese​).

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