Pakistani pharma firms interested to locate in ecozones

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Pharmaceutical firms from Pakistan are interested in putting up manufacturing facilities in the country, according to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

“PPMA (Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association) has expressed their members’ interest in setting up drug manufacturing operations in the Philippines through PEZA,” said PEZA deputy director general Tereso Panga.

PEZA recently conducted a briefing for PPMA which groups 700 member companies to present opportunities in the country.

He said PPMA specifically requested for information on the First Bulacan Business Park (FBBP) or the first pharma park approved by PEZA.

Located in Malolos in Bulacan, the FBBP was granted special ecozone status by the President last January.

FBBP is adjacent to the First Bulacan Industrial City or the Pharma City of the North which hosts 50 firms, of which 16 are pharma-related firms including Lloyd Laboratories, Pascual Laboratories, Lumar Pharmaceutical, Cargill Phils. and Cosmetique Asia.

It aims to serve as the premier ecozone in the country for medical research and development, manufacture of medicines and medical instruments or equipment, as well as for pharmaceutical cold chain facilities.

The country’s pharmaceutical market or industry is seen to offer opportunities given its potential for growth.

Citing GlobalData, Panga said the country is an emerging destination for global clinical trials.

He said the Philippine pharmaceutical market is seen to post steady growth of 4.5 percent in the coming years based on the ASEAN Pharma Report: Opportunities and Threats 2020 and Beyond.

Panga said the generic medicines segment is expected to be approximately 64 percent of the total medicine retail in the Philippines by the end of 2025 based on a report from Ken Research.

“PEZA will continue to do its best to attract investors that will create more pharmaceutical economic zones in the Philippines, making the country self-reliant, self-sustaining, and resource-generating in terms of producing our own medicines, medical equipment and supplies,” PEZA director general Charito Plaza said.

Panga said the agency would step up its collaboration with the Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry, Board of Investments, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration,  Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, University of the Philippines - National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, as well as other related industries to promote the growth of the pharmaceutical industry for the production of medicines, vaccines and other supplies needed to address the pandemic.

He said the agency would also want to help improve the Filipinos’ access to affordable and quality medicines.

To date, there are 26 companies engaged in the export and manufacture of medical equipment and products that are registered with PEZA. These companies include Pakistani firm Royal Life Pharma.

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