BANGKOK, July 14 /PRNewswire/ — Berlin Pharmaceutical Industry Co., Ltd., Thailand’s leading manufacturer and marketer of generic pharmaceuticals, named Amal Naj, a former Senior Vice President of New York-based Pfizer Inc., Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board.
In addition, Berlin announced that it will partner with a newly established U.S.-based company, Paradigm Pharma, headed by Mr. Naj, to expand and diversify business in Thailand and key markets in Asia.
Mr. Naj is no stranger to Asia. Prior to his last position at Pfizer in New York, he was Country Manager of Pfizer Thailand and Indochina, a post he assumed in 2000. He is credited with restructuring and turning around Pfizer’s Thailand and Indochina operations and rapidly growing the business to its No. 1 position during his tenure. He joined Pfizer in 1997 after a long career as a journalist on the staff of the Wall Street Journal, where he covered steel, autos, and science and technology.
“We are very pleased to have Amal join us and lead Berlin into the next phase of the company’s growth,” said Dr. Termchai Chainuvati, Chairman. “He brings a wealth of experience, expertise, and knowledge of the region to help the company achieve its long term objectives,” he said. “Berlin is, and has been, a very successful company, and to continue to grow we must adopt new thinking and new strategies in a changing healthcare environment.”
Mr. Naj said, “Berlin is one of the most respected pharmaceutical companies in Thailand and stands in very high regard with the medical community. I am proud to be part of such a company.”
“It is also a great opportunity for me to partner with Berlin at a time the healthcare landscape is going through a massive change in Asia and rest of the world,” said Mr. Naj. “Governments are pushing to lower healthcare costs, and patients are demanding greater access to medicine and better care overall. At the same time, a vast number of drugs in wide ranging therapies—for treating infections, pain, diseases of the heart, and neurological disorders, among others—are losing their patents and becoming available to be manufactured by any company,” said Mr. Naj.
“It is truly a golden era for the patient in terms of being able to access medicines at affordable prices,” said Mr. Naj, “and it has created new opportunities for companies such as Berlin with a long record for high quality and low cost manufacturing.”
“We are witnessing a very interesting development in the pharmaceutical industry that favors strong generics companies. For the first time, large research-based pharmaceutical companies are entering the generics business in Asia and other emerging markets because their R&D investments haven’t produced many new innovative products. In a previously unthinkable trend, they are even copying each others’ patent-expired products to bolster their dwindling revenue base back home. In coming years, the once pricy medicines will take on the aura of commodity, manufactured in low-cost locations in the very backyards of local companies where they will be competing.”
“This trend is giving generics, especially local generics, the legitimacy—the perception of quality—they have lacked in the past,” said Mr. Naj. “But the commoditization of a vast number of these pharmaceutical products also means that competing on quality and cost alone will not be enough for any company small or large to succeed in the future. A successful company with staying power will have to offer the patient something more,” he said.
“Berlin was founded 78 years ago by a visionary, a doctor who often paid bus fare to the patient so that the patient could come back to complete the treatment. That is a very good foundation on which to build in the emerging healthcare environment”
Berlin manufactures and markets products mainly for treating cardiovascular (CV), metabolic, gastrointestinal (GI) diseases and ailments, and it is a market leader in many of these products. It employs 550 people.