South Korea is a rapidly growing pharmaceutical market. Previously considered a developing economy, this country was reclassified as a developed economy in 2010, though it is still considered an emerging market. In recent years, South Korea’s high growth rate has continued amid worldwide economic downturns and is expected to continue in years to come. It is estimated to be the fastest growing developed market in the world. Other characteristics, such as recent free-trade agreements strengthening intellectual property rights and an aging population, make the market attractive for multinational companies. There are, however, considerable challenges. While South Korea’s overall economy has outpaced other countries in the years since the worldwide economic downturn, rapidly rising healthcare costs caused the government to cut drug prices in 2011. Because the government is the single payer, this rise in costs has had a profound impact. South Korea’s new president, Park Geun-Hye, has made building a safe and happy population a centerpiece of her platform. As a result, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) has highlighted their own goal of becoming an international model for drug safety.

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