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J&J aims for Japanese pharma expansion

Published on 27/05/11 at 07:30am

Johnson & Johnson has identified Japan as a key growth market for its pharma business as it outlines its strategic priorities.

The company plans to launch seven new products in the country this year and says a stronger presence in new markets is a key part of its future plans.

Its strategy has three other strands, ‘differentiated medicines’, maintaining a robust pipeline and greater investment in people, which J&J says will help keep its position as a top ten pharma firm.

Vice chairman of J&J’s executive committee Sheri McCoy said: “Since our last Pharmaceuticals Business Review with analysts in 2009, we have built a highly productive pharmaceuticals pipeline, with six key new products launching and another two pending regulatory review, some in multiple geographies.

“Our disciplined approach to research and development, rigorous investment prioritisation, and internal and external sources of innovation has enabled us to be well-positioned for long-term growth. 

Our revitalised portfolio and launch capabilities have led to market leadership in key categories,” she added.

It’s been a difficult year for the US healthcare giant - hit by a series of product recalls, J&J also faces serious questions about its manufacturing processes. 

It will be hoping that this new strategy will help offset its recent problems and put the focus back on its designs for growth.

Its four components include:

Delivering ‘differentiated medicines’: J&J’s pharma business, which made the company $22.4 billion in sales – 36% of its total revenue – last year, has been expanding its presence in immunology and oncology and entered into vaccines. 

The company’s pharmaceuticals business is in the process of launching six significant new products between 2009 and 2011 - two of the new products are pending regulatory review in Europe, with two additional compounds in registration in other markets.

Build a ‘transformational’ pipeline: J&J believes its investments in internal R&D, licensing arrangements, partnerships and select acquisitions have helped it to build up a robust pipeline for the long-term.

It expects to file 11 new products and over 30 important line extensions between 2011 and 2015. 

Strengthen geographic presence: J&J will grow its geographic footprint and increase investments in emerging markets, now the primary area for growth globally.

Japan, the second largest market for pharmaceuticals after the US, is a key growth market for J&J, and it is planning seven launches in the country for 2011. 

Invest in talented people and organisational capabilities: The company is looking to strengthen its leadership capabilities locally, regionally and globally to help develop its staff.  

Key to this, J&J says, is focusing on moving talented staff into important roles, which they say will enhance people’s skills more quickly to meet the increasingly complex business environment.

The pharmaceuticals business is also building R&D capabilities in new technology areas and emerging markets, a common move by pharma to save money and gain a foothold in new areas.

Ben Adams

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