After opening offices in China and Russia earlier this year, the German company told in-Pharmatechnologist.com demand from Chinese customers differs from those in Europe and the US.
“The biggest difference is that Chinese customers highly depend on after-sales service and technical support from the supplier side,” said Susanne Silva, Romaco spokeswoman.
“They also demand very fast response time and expect value-added services such as validation support. Due to limited knowledge in pharmaceutical engineering, there is a conformity phenomenon to follow so-called ‘famous brands.’”
Asia is commonly seen as a key manufacturing location for small molecule drugs, and an expanding market for processing and packaging service providers. However Romaco told us that as wages in Asia increase, the company is seeing a change in the type of services demanded.
“[The] wage increase indeed indicates a very import factor for opportunity in China. There are more and more customers suffer from lack of experienced workers and also from the rapid increased wage pressure; it is one of the most important motivations for Chinese customers to go for automatic solutions.”
Silva told us Romaco, which opened an office in Moscow in May this year, also considers Russia to be an important emerging market within the pharmaceutical industry.
She said the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade’s “Pharma 20:20” strategy, in place since 2009 to encourage the production of new pharmaceutical products domestically, has strengthened local manufacturers and encouraged international investment.
“20:20 significantly supports the local pharmaceutical markets with several state programmes. Russia needs to catch up whenever it comes to GMP requirements and state-of-the-art technology. Currently imports of pharmaceuticals account for over 70%. According to 20:20 the new trend will be the development and support of local pharmaceutical manufacturers and structures.
“This is also the reason why many international pharmaceutical companies currently settle in Russia and invest in their local activities on the Russian market. In the near future new facilities will be built and new equipment will be needed. Romaco [is] therefore strengthen[ing] its local presence in Russia, too.”