The seeds were sown some 15 years ago, when a few pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies began investing in Asia Pacific. Over several years of favorable growth conditions, the Life Sciences and Healthcare (LSH) industry gradually matured across the region, becoming a hosting platform for the majority of LSH key players today.

So what makes Asia Pacific an economic growth vehicle for this industry? Here are the key reasons motivating the world’s LSH companies to expand in this geographical region.

1. The value of a holistic research platform.

Asia Pacific is home to countries that propel growth and ignite success. A key example is Singapore. Singapore’s government attributes Life Sciences prosperity to the city-state’s integrated research ecosystem which enables companies to access multidisciplinary capabilities from one single location. This is particularly critical given the witnessed decrease in R&D productivity, the increased complexity in decision-making and the urgent need to accelerate drug discovery and development.

2. The attractiveness of “pharmerging” markets.

Numerous pharmaceutical and biotechnology businesses seek proximity to key markets and wish to expand into new “pharmerging” territories. While companies continue to rely on distributors to gain access into Asia Pacific, an increasing number of customers are adopting a multi-channel approach by considering complementary platforms such as e-commerce, direct-to-patient, and direct-to-hospital solutions to reach their patients.

3. Improved responsiveness.

LSH entities are establishing their regional presence in order to shorten their lead times and get closer to customers. Numerous medical device and pharma companies have started setting up their own regional distribution centers, especially in Singapore, many of which showcase value-added and postponement activities.

4. Cost leadership.

Lower-cost sourcing and manufacturing are undoubtedly key competitive advantages offered by Asia Pacific, which become even more relevant in the face of rising cost pressure and patent cliffs. LSH companies increasingly capitalize on established generics suppliers in India or China to enter the market, some of them going as far as setting up their own manufacturing facilities in these countries, as well as in Australia and Singapore.

As the Life Sciences and Healthcare industry further develops across the Asia Pacific region, DHL continues enabling growth and being the trusted logistics partner.

A broad spectrum of LSH logistics capabilities.

DHL has spent the last 20 years building its LSH logistics capabilities across the region to accompany its customers’ growth. The company covers the full spectrum of LSH activities, from neonatal generics manufacturing in India to aging population healthcare in Japan, while providing valuable access to China’s vast domestic market.

A strategically located regional hub.

DHL owns over 160 GDP-qualified* warehouse facilities and 15 GMP-certified sites* spread across the world. Its Singapore-based regional hub, designed to provide unique access to next-tier growth locations, has developed into a strategic passage for DHL’s global transportation network. Singapore is known for housing the world’s busiest container ports, one of the largest and most active international airports and the most extensive network of trade agreements in Asia.

The point of reference in temperature-controlled air transport.

DHL’s flagship temperature-sensitive shipping solution – DHL Air Thermonet – is deployed through more than 100 LSH competence centers across the region. Customers benefit from seamless temperature visibility along the supply chain, 24/7 proactive monitoring and intervention based on pre-determined touch points, and DHL’s RFID SmartSensor technology. DHL’s Thermonet offering has been extended to also cover ocean freight.

Extensive international express services.

Almost all Asia Pacific countries are covered by DHL’s time-definite international express (TDI) network and Life Sciences-qualified DHL Medical Express services, exclusively tailored for the shipment of diagnostics specimens, pharmaceutical products, medical spare parts, and scientific documentation.

Recognizing the increasingly strategic role of Asia Pacific within the LSH global landscape, DHL will be hosting its 2017 Global Life Sciences & Healthcare Conference in the influential city-state of Singapore. This engagement and exchange platform will gather the global community of LSH thought leaders, innovators, industry decision-makers, and suppliers from all over the world.

For further insights on similar topics or to catch a sneak preview of the DHL Global Life Sciences & Healthcare Conference agenda, follow me on LinkedIn or follow the hashtag #DHL_LSH on Twitter.

* GDP: Good Distribution Practice; GMP: Good Manufacturing Practice

Published: December 2016