J&J, Bayer to shutter production plants in South Korea: report
- J&J subsidiary Janssen Korea and German drugmaker Bayer will close their respective manufacturing facilities in South Korea within the next few years due to rising payroll costs and declining efficiency, reports The Korea Times.
- Janssen Korea will shut its South Korean facility for solid dosage forms due to excess capacity across the company's network, while Bayer cited a shrinking domestic market as the reason for its shutdown of a contrast agent production plant, according to company statements given to the South Korean paper.
- Sixteen pharmaceutical company factories, including the Bayer and Janssen Korea facilities, have closed in South Korea in the past two decades, the report said.
In its statement, Janssen Korea that it will shutter its solid dosage factory in Hyangnam, South Korea by 2021, as a bid to improve efficiency.
Bayer's contrast media production plant in Anseong, South Korea, on the other hand, will close by the end of this year.
It's expected that the Janssen Korea plant will be bought within a year of its closure by a local pharmaceutical company, but the plant's closure will still likely lead to layoffs, according to The Korea Times.
J&J and Bayer representatives said they would still make future investments in South Korea. J&J will shore up its Incheon, South Korea plant with additional investment and also plans to produce beauty products with local partners in South Korea.
Like India and China, South Korea is trying to build up its domestic pharma sector, both in manufacturing and in branded drugs. Industry titan Samsung BioLogics has built several large plants to product biologics, recently completing its third facility.
Celltrion and Samsung Bioepis, another two Korean drugmakers, are among the drugmakers pushing forward into biosimilars, or copycat biologics. Bioepis, which is partially owned by Samsung BioLogics and Biogen, is also exploring development of novel biologics drugs, inking a deal with Japanese pharma Takeda last year.
- The Korea Times Janssen, Bayer to close plants in Korea