Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co Ltd expects overseas sales of its anti-malaria medicines will grow by as much as 33 percent this year as foreign governments and international organizations increase spending on such drugs.
A solid export growth should continue in the next few years, driven by more orders from the emerging new buying forces in the private sector, such as hospitals and other medical institutions, in disease-ridden areas like Africa, company officials said yesterday.
"The biggest buyers at present are still the governments and NGOs (non-government organizations) like the World Health Organization, but we believe the market will expand when a much-cheaper solution becomes popular and affordable for patients," said Yan Xiaohua, Fosun Pharma's vice president.
The company beat Norvatis AG's China unit in the first nine months this year by overseas sales of arteannuin drugs, according to the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products, which didn't give specific figures.
Arteannuin drugs, a new cure superseding former treatments such as amodiaquine, are the main weapon offered by the company to fight against malaria, as the mosquito-borne disease has grown resistant to older drugs.
Malaria kills one million people a year, mostly children under the age of five in Africa south of the Sahara, where 80 percent of the victims are.
(Shanghai Daily December 4, 2007)