SEOUL, KOREA- Although Korea's exports in drugs and primary medicinal materials have increased substantially, the drug balance of trade has not improved for years. This is because the imports of high-priced drugs such as anti-cancer drugs have increased rapidly.
According to a report "Korea's Drug Production Performance" published by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on July 3, the nation's drug market stopped short of growing 0.3 percent to 19,164.6 billion won, largely due to the global economic recession and the across-the-board cut in insurance-covered medicines. The size of the drug market has remained at the 19-trillion-won level for three years in a row since 2010.
Last year, drug exports increased 19.5 percent to 2,340.9 billion won from the previous year. But imports rose to a record level to 5,853.5 billion, resulting in a deficit of 3,512.6 billion won, almost the same level as the previous year's.
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