Generic drug maker Standard Chemical & Pharmaceutical Co. (生達化學) said yesterday that it aims to increase its revenue contribution from overseas markets from 13 percent to over 50 percent in the next 5 to 8 years on the back of higher generic drug prices abroad.
“The National Health Insurance Administration (NHI) normally sets lower prices for generic drugs in Taiwan compared with foreign countries in view of the indebted national insurance system,” Standard Chemical general manager Roy Fan (范滋庭) told reporters yesterday. He was attending BioTaiwan 2014, a four-day exhibition and conference at the Nangang Exhibition Hall for the biotechnology industry, ending on Sunday.
The company’s gross margin declined to 42.49 percent last year from 55 percent in 2005, while the gross margin of another local generic company, YungShin Global Holding Corp (永信) dropped to 50 percent last year from 65 percent in 2005, which Fan attributed to the health authorities’ low-price, but higher production standard policy for generic drugs.
“To embrace foreign markets, the company plans to file a paragraph four (P4) certification application for its ankylosing spondylitis drug in the US by the end of this year, hoping it can be the firm’s first generic drug to enter the global market,” Fan said.
“In the meantime, the company is undertaking P4 certification on two other drugs treating blood fat and Parkinson’s disease in the US, while it plans to file a drug permit for its hepatitis B drug in China next month and also has another drug for lowering blood glucose under review in China,” Fan said.
“It usually takes at least four years for Chinese government to approve a drug to go to market there,” he added.
Last year, Standard Chemical reported NT$400 million (US$13.35 million) in overseas sales, with NT$200 million from China, NT$100 million from Southeast Asia and NT$100 million from other places, according to Fan.
From January through last month, the company posted revenue of NT$1.61 billion, up 4.49 percent from NT$1.54 billion a year ago. The company has yet to release its second-quarter earnings results, but in the first quarter, net profit was NT$96.07 million, or NT$0.54 per share, down 18.21 percent year-on-year from NT$117.46 million, or NT$0.7 per share, company data showed.
Fan said he forecast the company’s revenue and earnings would be higher this year than last year on the back of a rising gross margin.
“The National Health Insurance Administration has set a higher prices for the company’s drugs this year and the company also stopped selling products with a lower gross margin,” Fan said.
Standard Chemical was awarded Outstanding Company of the Year yesterday by the Taiwan Bio Industry Organization (生物產業協會), which organized BioTaiwan 2014.
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