Last year, the cancer drug segment accounted for 35% in the group’s turnover, and in the first five months it was the main growth driver of the drug maker’s total sales. “Cancer drugs recorded the biggest growth pace of all products ranges in our portfolio, of nearly 60%, the best sold drug being MabThera, followed by Herceptin and Avastin”, said Dan Zamonea (photo), managing director of Roche Romania.

As he noted, the Romanian subsidiary outperformed the market by 100% in first five months. “The five-month sales doubled compared to the market average, but the profit was severely affected by the currency devaluation and by the drug price cut”, he added.

Roche Romania reported first-quarter sales up 15% year-on-year. Despite the advance, the company ended first quarter on red. “The first two months of the year represented a continuity of end-2008 trends, this being the main factors that drove us on loss. These losses will be offset in the second half of the year which we will surely end on profit,” said Roche, who estimates an increase of sales by 10% for the reminder of the year.

The Swiss-based drug maker invested 200,000 euros in the education and information campaign “Cancer is not a sentence to death”, aimed at changing the way people approach this disease.

“The cancer is not a sentence to death” is the first campaign for all public categories that addresses the cancer issue. The main objective of this campaign is to send a strong positive message both to cancer-affected patients as well as to those who didn’t have any contact with the disease”, said Zamonea.

The campaign will consist in a TV and online media component, as well as a specially designed website backed by PR activities.

The local pharmaceutical market reached 466.5 million euros in first quarter 2009, up 6% when expressed in euro, versus prior-year period.

When expressed in lei, the market value increased by 22.5%, up to 1.99 bln lei, according to research company Cegedim.

Read “How is Roche Romania hedging the currency risk?”

How is Roche Romania hedging the currency risk?

How is Roche Romania hedging the currency risk?