Mr Cyril Grandcham-Desraux, Generam Manager of Sanofi Indochina outlines the company's ongoing activities and plans for the future in Vietnam.
With its business expansion plans, what were Sanofi Vietnam’s notable results in 2013?
Sanofi Vietnam launched many initiatives last year to maintain our current leading position and expand our presence in Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market. We have a complete portfolio, from ethical generics to OTC/CHC products, and from imported to locally-produced products. We have two manufacturing plants in Vietnam and a third with a development centre is now under construction and will come into operation early next year. This will ensure Vietnamese patients can access high quality medicine at an affordable price. It’s not only a matter of products but also about our contribution to increasing medical knowledge in Vietnam.
Diabetes is becoming a very big issue in Vietnam. Sanofi, as a leading company in treating the illness in emerging countries, has a complete portfolio of injectable insulin treatments. This is why we believe that we have a major responsibility to fight against diabetes, especially in Vietnam and other emerging countries. Last year we held the World Diabetes Day in association with VADE (the Vietnamese Association of Diabetes & Endocrinology) to allow more than 1,500 patients to be tested and consulted by nutritionists and medical staff. Early this year we launched a major three-year programme to increase medical knowledge about diabetes. We will train doctors in association with VADE and ADA (the American Diabetes Association) to better manage the illness. With these and other initiatives Sanofi Vietnam has continued to grow and we will strengthen our market position in the years to come.
What comment would you care to make about Vietnam’s potential among emerging markets in the pharmaceutical industry?
Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market has been one of the fastest growing worldwide over the last five years and it is clear that the market will retain its potential and be highly attractive into the future. We believe the market will see dynamic growth of 15 per cent over the next five years, with a lot of new growth coming not only in large cities but also smaller provinces, with our new disease and OTC/CHC products.
What role does Vietnam play in Sanofi’s global development strategy?
Vietnam is currently positioned as one a strategic global market of Sanofi. Sanofi Vietnam receives a high level of investment from the Sanofi Group that equips us with strong competitive advantages to seize new growth opportunities. One of these large investments is the $75 million manufacturing plant in Vietnam, to open early next year. There will be also a research and development centre to develop and bring to the market Vietnamese products for Vietnamese patients. We focus on and invest a great deal in research. For example, we are running a clinical study of 2,500 Vietnamese patients to develop dengue fever vaccine.
What do you think about the challenges in Vietnam’s investment environment amid the current economic context?
Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market is very attractive and has great potential. There are not only opportunities but also challenges from the rapid development of the economy and regulations and policies announced recently or already in place. The market is changing quickly and significantly. I am firmly convinced that all of these changes create more opportunities than challenges, especially for Sanofi Vietnam, as market leader, because we are well-equipped to adapt quickly and succeed.
In addition to providing treatment solutions, what else has Sanofi implemented and what has it gained from improving community health and raising awareness? What community support activities are in the pipeline?
Sanofi wants to expand its presence in Vietnam and it’s not only a matter of product availability but also our social responsibility in community health.
We are running i-Step D - a medical education programme designed by ADA and VADE to improve the diagnosis and management of diabetes among more than 1,500 general practitioners and internists. This is a very ambitious medical education programme that meets needs in Vietnam and is the first step of a robust three-year programme to increase medical knowledge about diabetes for not only doctors but also patients. Beside our diabetes initiatives we also run other medical training in cardio, oncology, obstetrics, paediatrics, allergies, and gastrointestinal illnesses, etc. for both doctors and patients. This medical training will be held throughout Vietnam, to bring advanced medical knowledge to doctors and patients in large cities and small provinces alike.