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Potential and Challenges of the APAC Pharmaceutical Industry

APAC pharmaceutical industry

The global pharmaceutical market is becoming more digitalized, insight-driven, and consumer-centric. Though we’re witnessing fundamental changes all over the world, each region has its peculiarities dictated by multiple local factors.  

In this article, we’ll focus on a pharmaceutical market in the APAC region, go through the differences between pharma in APAC and pharma in other parts of the world, and see the current state of the APAC pharma market. 

Main Potential of Pharma in the Asia-Pacific Region 

What role does the APAC region play in transforming today’s worldwide pharma market? This role is significant because the pharma market in APAC is increasing. According to one forecast, researchers anticipate that APAC pharma will grow 4.2% from 2022 to 2027. And it makes sense.  

With unique industry dynamics and fierce competition that impact innovation in each country of the APAC region, China and Japan remain the world’s second and third pharma markets after the US, with a value of $153 billion and $83 billion, respectively.  

As the world’s second largest pharma market, China remains the world’s largest producer of pharmaceutical ingredients despite several internal issues, such as pricing pressure, uncertain drug approval times, and the implementation of drug regulatory reforms. 

The most distinctive characteristic of pharma companies in APAC from pharma companies in the rest of the world is the domination in the clinical trials market.  

Surprisingly, nearly half of all clinical trials conducted in the world in 2021 had locations in APAC. As of 2022, APAC accounts for 57% of Phase I clinical trials and 49% of Phase II clinical trials worldwide.  

And surprisingly or not, the growth of APAC pharma and its potential for the global market lie in its challenges. 

APAC Pharma Challenges — The Viseven Event Summary, April 2023 

Digital maturity, personalized customer engagement, and data-driven marketing have been accepted and implemented in Europe and the US for a few years. However, it’s not the case for most pharma companies in the Asia-Pacific region.  

APAC pharma companies have only recently started to adopt advanced ways of improving customer experience, optimizing marketing activities with data-driven methods, and streamlining supply chains.   

Viseven, a pharma MarTech company, attended three events in April 2023 to see how the pharma market in the APAC region is transforming.  

Here are the three different stories with perspectives from three specialists: 

Omnichannel is Yet to Come — The 6th China Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit  

Yanxia Tang, Account Executive at Viseven, visited the 6th China Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit in Shanghai on April 24-26, 2023. 

The China Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit is one of the most popular events for the medical and pharmaceutical industries in the APAC region. The senior-level executives of over 100 companies, including top players such as AstraZeneca, Bayer, Abbot, and Novartis, gathered to share digital transformation insights on medical services, marketing, omnichannel engagement, e-commerce, and other crucial topics. 

For Yanxia Tang, the 6th China Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit was very productive. She attended several panels, listened to the conference speakers, and met a few professionals from different companies.  

Specifically, she engaged with several important stakeholders and received valuable information about future sales and marketing strategies, decision-making vision, and innovation trends among Chinese pharmaceutical companies. 

“Omnichannel” is one of those new words many stakeholders at this summit heard of but still don’t exactly know what it means in terms of the transformation of healthcare and pharmaceuticals. I was there to provide insightful information on the latest trends in omnichannel marketing and explore novelties in the pharmaceutical industry,” says Yanxia Tang, Account Executive at Viseven. 

What’s Next for Customer Experience? — The MarTech Summit Singapore 2023 

As one of the central hubs for technology and pharma companies, not only in APAC but in the world, Singapore is also a venue for multiple events dedicated to the evolution of digital marketing. 

On April 25-26, 2023, the Viseven team comprising Dodie Guadines, Viseven APAC Regional Director, and Nathaniel Manzano, Account Executive Lead, attended the MarTech Summit Singapore, a conference that hosted over 200 companies from multiple industries and markets like e-commerce, finance, consumer goods, electronics, and pharma.  

Dogie Guadines and Nathaniel Manzano considered the MarTech Summit Singapore 2023 a good place for gathering insights, networking, and contributing to the world of MarTech services. 

The attendees had an opportunity to choose from over 35 live sessions from more than 60 speakers. 

At the event, the representatives of companies with different goals and perspectives discovered the latest MarTech trends, learned more about data-driven marketing approaches, and shared their professional expertise. 

As one of the most promising providers of MarTech services for pharma and life sciences companies, Viseven couldn’t go amiss for the MarTech Summit Singapore. 

The Viseven team listened to the speakers who represented pharmaceutical companies at the conference: 

  • Miguel Rivera from Novartis — Customer Engagement and Experience Head, APAC & MEA  
  • Sebastien Boisseau from Menarini — Head of Customer Engagement, Digital Marketing & Innovation 
  • Gaurav Lalwani from GSK — Senior Director, Global Content & Marketing Operations 

“Our goal at the MarTech Summit Singapore 2023 was to understand what’s next for the MarTech industry as a whole. We identified upcoming trends in customer experience along explored business opportunities. We’re eager to build vital business relationships with other attendees. We have some arrangements we’ll be able to disclose soon,” says Dodie Guadines, Viseven APAC Regional Director. 

Personalized Communication — Korea Pharm & Bio 2023 

Suyoung Kim, sales representative at Viseven, attended Korea Pharm & Bio 2023, a massive 4-day event dedicated to biopharmaceuticals, technology, pharma ingredients, health ingredients, smart healthcare, packaging, logistics, cosmetics, bioenvironmental laboratory, chemical machinery, outsourcing, and PR. 

At the 13th Korea International Pharmaceutical & Bio-Pharma Exhibition on April 18-21, attendees participated in over 100 seminars, conferences, and workshops.  

“I learned a lot about Korean medical companies and introduced Viseven to the conference attendees personally. The irony is that I was showing them how they can do the same job with their customers cheaper online,” says Suyoung Kim, Sales Representative at Viseven. 

Though South Korea is the third largest biopharma innovation hub, Suyoung admits that local pharma companies have low HCP engagement rates because marketers still use traditional methods of communication such as email, phone calls, and face-to-face visits. 

Suyoung went to the conference to share her insights on how pharma companies can switch from traditional communication to personalized customer journeys and increase brand awareness using solutions by Viseven. 

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