Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pharmaceutical firms developed no major OTC drugs since 2000

SEOUL, April 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korean pharmaceutical companies have not produced major over-the-counter drugs since 2000, an industry association said Wednesday, as they focused on the development of profitable specialized drugs.

A total of 25 OTC drugs, whose separate annual sales topped 10 billion won (US$ 8.9 million) last year, were introduced before 2000 when the government mandated the separation of OTC medicine and prescription medicine, according to Korea Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association.

The top 10 OTC drugs by sales volume include drugs with household names such as the popular energy drink "Bacchus," and they all hit the market before 2000, the association said.

The association also said only two out of 68 OTC drugs -- whose annual sales exceeded 5 billion won -- were produced since 2000, though the two medicines are made by foreign pharmaceutical companies.
Pharmaceutical firms developed no major OCT drugs since 2000

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