June 27 (Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd , the world’s biggest maker of generic medicines, is to spend about 20 billion yen ($203 million) to double its production capacity in Japan as the country looks to contain its healthcare costs, the Nikkei reported.
Introduction of more generics, or cheaper copies of branded drugs, would fit well with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plans of reforming Japan’s healthcare system.
Teva, which already has a strong presence in the United States and Europe, will now look to Japan as an entry point to the lucrative markets of China and Southeast Asia, according to the Nikkei. ()
Chief Executive Jeremy Levin has earlier told Reuters that he believed Teva’s portfolio of medicines, with a focus on respiratory treatments, is best suited for China - the world’s most populated country with many from poor, rural areas.
Japan’s generic-drug market is forecast to grow 8 percent annually and reach 1.3 trillion yen ($13.2 billion) in fiscal 2017, and drugs accounting for over 10 billion yen ($101.5 million) in sales are set to lose patent protection in the next five years, the Nikkei said.
Teva’s production capacity would rise to 9 billion pills a year by 2018 under its plan, the Japanese daily reported.