Bayer Pharma posts fifth straight year of growth in Asia-Pac

Pharmaceuticals giant Bayer has posted its fifth consecutive year of sales growth for its Asia-Pacific division. Turnover rose around 7 per cent to €3.9 billion (S$5.9 billion) last year - about 75 per cent more than the figure recorded in 2010, it reported on Wednesday.

The rise is due in part to two recently launched products - anticoagulant Xarelto and eye medicine Eylea. Last year, Xarelto sold about five million packs in the region while about 490,000 doses of Eylea were administered to patients.

"The strong uptake of our innovative medicines shows our close alignment with the region's growing healthcare needs," said Mr Claus Zieler, Bayer Pharmaceuticals' new senior vice-president and head of commercial operations for the Asia-Pacific.

Many of the region's markets reported strong sales growth. Vietnam's turnover rose more than 30 per cent while revenue in South Korea expanded about 20 per cent.

Bayer Pharmaceuticals' surging revenue makes it one of the fastest-growing pharmaceutical multinationals in the region and in the top 10 in sales, according to global health intelligence agency IMS.

Bayer expects global sales of around €16 billion this year for its pharmaceuticals business, with the Asia-Pacific providing plenty of opportunities. Dr Chuan Kit Foo, Bayer Pharmaceuticals' head of medical affairs for the region, said: "The growing ageing population in Asia-Pacific urgently needs new and better medicines."

Bayer raised its investment in research and development by 21 per cent last year to €4.3 billion, more than half of which went to the pharmaceuticals division.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2016, with the headline 'Bayer Pharma posts fifth straight year of growth in Asia-Pac'. Print Edition | Subscribe