Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical

China’s Fosun Pharma eyes expansion in European and US markets

Chairman says China and India will be its main drug production bases, while Europe and US remain its major markets for generic drugs

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 March, 2017, 2:24pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 March, 2017, 10:46pm

Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group), a Chinese health care group under conglomerate Fosun International, says it will continue to expand internationally in 2017, with European and US markets its main focus.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Chen Qiyu, chairman of Fosun Pharma, said the company is looking to enhance its presence in Europe’s generic drug market.

“We have finished the registration process for our generic drugs in the US, which is our most important market after China,” Chen said. “Some of our drugs can be sold there now, although in small quantities.”

Already one of the most active buyers in China’s health sector, Fosun Pharma has created a foot print in several countries in recent years through mergers and acquisitions – part of an overseas buying frenzy by Chinese pharmaceutical companies.

The Foreign Investment and Promotion Board of India said on Wednesday that it has finally cleared the decks for Fosun Pharma to acquire major stakes in Hyderabad-based Gland Pharma. This would help the company enhance its US presence because the Indian pharmaceutical company manufactures generic injectables for the American market.

We have finished the registration process for our generic drugs in the US, which is our most important market except China
Chen Qiyu, chairman, Fosun Pharma

Late in 2016, Fosun Pharma established a Shanghai-based US$100 million joint venture with American technology company Intuitive Surgical to research, develop, manufacture and sell products targeting early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, one of the most common forms of cancer in the world.

China, the US and India are three major countries under Fosun Pharma’s global business strategy, Chen said in July last year during an interview with the 21st Century Business Herald.

While China remains the core market for the company, the US will be the driving force for its innovation and India the bridge connecting its domestic and global resources, Chen was quoted as saying.

When it comes to recruiting talent, Chen told the Post that they wanted to hire people who have more of a “start-up” style.

“We don’t want to be like some big pharmaceutical companies that have put lots of financing into hiring huge teams for research and development,” Chen said. “We want people who are ambitious and hungry and treat the business as their own.”

To achieve this goal, Chen said the company would offer its research and development scientists stakes in some of its products, making them feel more invested in Fosun Pharma.

“We have sufficient money and a sales team that has thousands of people, we can produce and distribute our products in different places,” he said.

Driven by robust core drug sales, the company said its profit attributable to equity holders gained 26.3 per cent to 2.8 billion yuan (US$406.4 million) last year, according to a news release. Revenue jumped 16 per cent to 14.5 billion yuan.

Fosun Pharma shares closed unchanged at HK$28.0 in Hong Kong on Thursday, while its shares in Shanghai gained 0.8 per cent to 27.7 yuan.