PHARMA Product Manufacturing is expanding its horizons to help bolster the Kingdom’s medicine manufacturing sector, which representatives say has suffered from a lack of consumer awareness in recent years.
The domestic pharmaceutical sector has so far seen limited development, according to a Business Monitor International report published in August, as “counterfeit drugs are a major constraint on legitimate drug market growth”.
Nearly 3 percent of pharmaceuticals sold in licensed outlets were found to be counterfeit, though a greater portion failed quality tests, according to an October study conducted by Ministry of Health officials and Japanese researchers.
As PPM inaugurated its new Phnom Penh factory, worth more than US$1 million on Saturday, company president Dr Hay Ly Eang highlighted the challenges facing the sector. He stated in a press release that since 1970, the number of domestic pharmaceutical manufacturers had halved from 14 to seven, as Cambodians now preferred to buy medicines made abroad.
Forty years ago, 60 percent of the market was made up of Cambodian-made medicines, he said, compared to just 10 percent today.
The firm aims to help restore the market by producing products that meet high quality standards. “We want to create the employment for Cambodia, to contribute to Cambodia pharmaceutical industry and to strive to provide motivation,” he said.
Founded in 1996, the firm's products include the painkiller Kinal, which is said to have been formulated in a Cambodian pharmacy 50 years ago.
And after recently expanding drug sales to Vietnam, PPM is now targeting growth within ASEAN to add to its current African export markets. The firm also plans to export an additional 50 brands of medicine abroad, on top of the 40 it currently ships.
“We are connecting with Indonesia, Philippine, India and others counties,” he added.
The PPM president also emphasised the importance of government in regulating the sector.
Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng, added: “We’re pushing all pharmacies to respect the law and ask permission to do business."