PHARMANIAGA Bhd yesterday launched its latest product brand - InnoHerb - marking the pharmaceutical company's maiden entry into the Malaysia herbal products and alternative therapies market worth RM2bil, managing director Azhar Hussain said.
"It's a huge market and we hope to capture a slice of it," he told reporters at the launch of InnoHerb, witnessed by Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad, in Subang Jaya.
Azhar said the local market for traditional medicine and alternative therapies was bigger than modern medicine, which was estimated to be worth RM1.2bil.
"We are targeting to achieve RM12mil sales from the InnoHerb range over the next 12 months," he said, adding that it was still early days for the company in terms of marketing herbal products.
For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2003 Pharmaniaga registered turnover of RM632mil, which was derived mainly from the sales of conventional medicine.
According to Azhar, Pharmaniaga's new herbal products utilise Phytogranules technology that allows better absorption of the active herbal extracts into the body and helps mask the taste of the herbs due to its enhance-release herbal pellet patented technology.
'The introduction of this new range of herbal products in the local market is due to our tie-up with a French company, which took 23 years to develop the technology," he said.
Pharmaniaga is licensed to produce the new range of herbal products for the Malaysian market and potentially for export in a couple of years.
Azhar said the company also planned to introduce more herbal products over time.
"There is also a possibility we will market our locally developed range of herbal products using Phytogranules technology in future," he said.
He also said the company was interested in developing Malaysian traditional and alternative medicines in collaboration with local research institutes and centres.
The InnoHerb range of herbal products is available at most pharmacies nationwide.
Extracted from The Star 16 September 2004