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Business trends

China rises as key market for leading opioid producer

OxyContin helps lift Mundipharma to 75% share of painkiller sales

OxyContin sales have fallen steeply in the U.S. amid controversy and litigation.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- China is set this year to become the second-largest market in the world for the group of American-owned companies that make OxyContin, the painkiller blamed for setting off a deadly opioid epidemic in the U.S.

"This is where the growth is coming from," Raman Singh, chief executive of Singapore-based Mundipharma, which handles the group's sales of prescription drugs outside of Europe and North America, told the Nikkei Asian Review in Hong Kong. "By 2025, I'm hoping [China] will become the [group's] largest market, overtaking the U.S."

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