What Happened to Outsourcing in Asia? - Pharmaceutical Technology

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What Happened to Outsourcing in Asia?
The industry may not be ready for India and China as regulatory issues emerge.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 37, Issue 7, pp. 64-66


Eric Langer
Over the past few years, China and India have been the up-and-coming destinations for international outsourcing of biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Last year, industry research pointed to China and India as the industry's top potential destinations for offshoring over the next five years, which put them ahead of traditional biomanufacturing hubs in the US and Western Europe. China was seen as a favorite likely destination for both US and European respondents to prior studies, with India close behind.

In BioPlan Associates' 10th Annual Report and Survey of Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Capacity and Production, however, that initial enthusiasm appears to have diminished (1). Of the more than 25 countries identified as potential destinations for international outsourcing, India fell to the fourth spot among all respondents, with only 14% of respondents indicating there was a likelihood or strong likelihood that they would consider outsourcing production there in the next five years. Surprisingly, that was a more positive result than for China, which was cited by just 10.6% of respondents, putting it in the ninth spot, behind countries such as Austria and Australia.


Figure 1: Destinations for international outsourcing of biomanufacturing (all respondents). (ALL FIGURES ARE COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR.)
This year, the US took the top position for biopharmaceutical outsourcing, with 26.3% of global, non-US respondents, ranking it as the top destination. This ranking likely reflects European companies' plans, as respondents were asked to indicate potential international destinations (see Figure 1). Next on the list were Germany and Singapore, each indicated to be a "likelihood" destination by 15.8% of all respondents. Beyond those top three countries stood a group of countries (India, UK, Austria, and Ireland), each receiving the nod from approximately 14% of respondents.


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