The domestic pharmaceutical industry marked increases in employment and R&D spending as a percentage of sales, a recent report from the Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association (KPBMA) said.
Although the global pharmaceutical industry saw hiring freezes and layoffs in the past several years, the Korean pharmaceutical sector saw an opposite trend recording a near 30 percent increase in the number of new hires between 2011 and 2016, the KPBMA said.
Notably, the number of hiring in the pharmaceutical industry grew to 9,400 in 2016, a notable increase compared with the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.
The hiring increase came mostly from researchers and production employees, rising 35 percent and 36 percent, respectively during the five-year period.
Korean pharmaceutical companies also continued to increase research and development spending. The government currently designates pharmaceuticals as “innovative” enterprises if they spend a significant portion of sales revenue on R&D. Pharmaceutical companies with the innovative label are eligible for various financial and tax benefits.
Of domestic pharmaceuticals, Celltrion took the lead in R&D spending ratio against sales. According to the data, Celltrion recorded the rate of nearly 40 percent, followed by Bukwang Pharmaceutical (18.4 percent), Hanmi Pharmaceutical (18.4 percent), Celltrion Pharm (17.3 percent), Medytox (14 percent), Daewoong Pharmaceutical (13.2 percent), and United (13.2 percent).
The R&D investment by the so-called innovative companies are almost double those of other drug manufacturers and listed companies as a whole, the KPBMA said.
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