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Medicines contribute to export earnings

2 August 2013

Medicines contribute to export earnings

Medicines New Zealand would like to acknowledge the major contribution made to New Zealand’s export earnings by companies such as Douglas Pharmaceuticals. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has released an excellent report that shows pharmaceuticals and medical devices make up almost half of the earnings for high tech manufacturing.

Douglas, a family owned company exports medicines to over 40 countries in most continents across the globe, including to the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong. Sir Graeme Douglas, who founded the company in 1967 and is still at the helm, has grown the business to be a $127 million company in 2012.

Service exports are not measured by this report, but there are also substantial and growing investments made by multinational pharmaceutical companies in clinical research that benefit both the economy and patients’ health outcomes.

There are a number of other pharmaceutical companies and research groups in New Zealand contributing to the research and development of medicines and vaccines with good potential to increase this sector’s contribution to New Zealand’s economic wellbeing.

The Medicines New Zealand launch this week of our vaccines partnership showcased the ground breaking research on a cancer vaccine being done by Associate Professor Ian Hermans of the Mallaghan Institute in collaboration with Callaghan Innovation and others.

With the right environment for companies to grow collaborations with New Zealand research groups, and have a reasonable chance of getting funding for innovative medicines, we expect the export earnings for pharmaceutical products and services to grow.


• Link to MBIE report:
• Medical Technology Association of NZ (MTANZ) website:
• Assoc Prof Ian Hermans:


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