China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) issued new guidelines on May 5, 2010 to improve the supply and distribution of pharmaceuticals over the next five years. These guidelines, the first of their kind issued by the Chinese government, stipulate goals of creating 1 to 3 national drug distributors, as well as another 20 regional distribution companies by 2015.
The major targets of the guidelines are four-fold: (1) to increase industry concentration; (2) to further develop current drug distribution operation methods and strengthen foreign exchanges and cooperation; (3) to standardize the order of drug distribution and build industry trustworthiness; and (4) to strengthen the industry infrastructure and improve industry standards.
The Chinese government will also promote company mergers and sector restructuring to limit the growing number of drug distribution companies. Analysts believe these guidelines will help decrease inefficiencies that plague China’s drug distribution sector today.
China scrutinizes drug production processes
China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) will also commence a nationwide probe into the quality of drugs in the country. The two-month investigation by SFDA officials, which began in May 2011, will scrutinize drug production methods and raw material origins through on-site examinations at production facilities in China. After the investigation, an effective policy will be developed to improve drug safety, particularly the safety of essential drugs in China.