The World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed that 70% of deaths (40 million people) were caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in 2017, and that it is a real and growing threat in Asia.

This is a result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors. Lifestyle diseases could sometimes also be the consequence of poor diets, lack of physical activity, abuse of tobacco and alcohol, and unsustainable environmental practices - attributes of most developing cities in this region.

The implications on the industry are significant, with added healthcare costs and greater demand for access to quality medicines emerging from the NCD epidemic. Medicines not only have to fight these diseases quickly and effectively, it ideally needs to treat with minimal downtime to suit the urban patient pool.

Working with pharmaceutical partners, the Zuellig Pharma Commercial Solutions team has launched several innovative medicines to combat the rising issue of lifestyle diseases in Asia. Overseeing the end-to-end process of launching, development, and marketing, the team has introduced products like an anti-hypertension drug, and an oral therapy to treat symptomatic uterine fibroids.

Key industry and government stakeholders and healthcare practitioners have been involved in the initial market trials for our in-licensed products, and the medicines have so far been well received. “These innovative drug solutions not only have high efficacy to treat lifestyle diseases but have also delivered results in a quicker time - suited for a time-starved population in certain markets,” shares John Graham, Senior Vice President Commercial Solutions at Zuellig Pharma.

Building awareness for any new products require agile resourcing, deep understanding of regulatory policies and local medical and trade channel expertise. “We have been working in Asia for almost a century and have insights on each market and its requirements. Our extensive reach and strong relationships across the industry allows us to successfully launch and deliver these medicines to places that require them the most,” George comments.

“In an environment of stricter regulations, intensifying competition and pricing pressure in developing countries, successfully launching and growing brands relies very much on your knowledge of the local market. We have a wealth of data and experience that can be tapped on by partners who are keen to explore opportunities in this region.”