Teva to Double Production Capacity in Japan

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Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, the world's biggest maker of generic medicines, will spend about 20 billion yen ($203 million) to double its production capacity in Japan as the country looks to contain its healthcare costs, the Nikkei reported.

Introduction of more generics, or cheaper copies of branded drugs, supports Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plans to reform Japan's healthcare system.

Teva, which already has a strong presence in the United States and Europe, will now look to Japan as an entry point to the lucrative markets of China and Southeast Asia, according to the Nikkei.

Chief Executive Jeremy Levin told Reuters earlier that he believed Teva's portfolio of medicines, with a focus on respiratory treatments, is best suited for China - the world's most populated country with many citizens from poor, rural areas.

Japan's generic-drug market is forecast to grow 8 percent annually and reach 1.3 trillion yen ($13.2 billion) in fiscal 2017; drugs accounting for over 10 billion yen ($101.5 million) in sales are set to lose patent protection in the next five years, the Nikkei said.

Teva's production capacity would rise to 9 billion pills a year by 2018 under its plan, the Japanese daily reported.

Japanese flag.Credit: Bloomberg
Teva's tablet production plant in Jerusalem.Credit: Bloomberg

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