Industry Trend Analysis - AstraZeneca Well Positioned To Meet Increasing Drug Demand - SEPT 2017

BMI View: The demand for pharmaceuticals targeting chronic respiratory diseases , such as asthma , in China will be strong over the coming years. AstraZeneca has a range of strategic initiatives to accelerate the delivery of innovative biologics and targeted medicines to patients in China, the company ' s key growth platform. Recent announcement of AstraZeneca ' s commitment to expand its manufacturing facility in Sydney, with the goal of doubling the production of Pulmicort Respules and boosting exports to China, highlights the company's approach to meet the demand of Chinese patients.

China's disease profile will influence the growth trajectory of healthcare spending. In line with its large and ageing population and shifting lifestyles, chronic diseases will become more prevalent in the country. As such, the demand for chronic disease treatments in China will continue to rise and pharmaceutical firms will continue to position themselves to meet China's growing demands. In particular, respiratory diseases such as asthma are dominant in the country and will be a key area of medical need, as factors such as air pollution and a high smoking rate remain entrenched.

Accentuating this view, in July 2017 AstraZeneca announced its plan to invest AUD100mn (USD79.5mn) to expand production of respiratory medicines at its Sydney site. The bulk of the medicines produced at this site are shipped to China. AstraZeneca aims to add three production lines to the existing eight in Australia, each with the capacity to produce over 70mn units of asthma medicine Pulmicort Respules (budesonide) per year, with the goal of boosting exports to China from the site over the next four years and doubling Respules production to 1bn by 2025.

Asthma Disease Burden A Clear Opportunity
China: Total Asthma Deaths, 2000-2021
Source: BMI's Disease Database

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