Country Report: Australia

Where Value Beats Cost
Feb 01, 2013
By Pharmaceutical Executive Editors

This sponsored supplement was produced by Focus Reports.

A young female client of the Adult Mental Health Rehabilitation Unit at Sunshine Hospital, Victoria, Australia, Courtesy of Janssen-Cilag
In some ways the Australian medicines industry is going through the same restructuring and challenges as the industry is globally: the country is dealing with patent cliffs, companies are cutting back staff, an ageing population forces the government to rethink healthcare expenditures, and big originator companies are reforming. And just like internationally, that is forcing the industry to rethink traditional ways of doing things. Only, the Australian pharmaceutical industry has been rethinking its role in such an innovative way that it is slowly floating from down under to the center of attention of the global industry.

During a visit to Australia in February 2012 Sir Andrew Witty, then still in his tenure as CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, quoted the Australian industry as an example of how the global industry should modernize itself and win back society's belief in its readiness to change, "whether that is through employment, contribution to savings, or delivery of remarkable medicines."

Mark Fladrich, Managing Director, AstraZeneca
And indeed the Australian pharmaceutical industry is undergoing several remarkable developments. Its pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, not too long ago having been seemingly doomed to disappear as rationalization reigned, is reinventing itself as a high value added manufacturing hub. With USD4.19 billion it is now Australia's biggest exporting industry, before the car and wine industry, the country's traditional export strongholds.

AstraZeneca, for instance, recently decided to invest USD80 million in its existing Australian production capabilities to provide the Chinese market with its asthma treatment medicine.

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