China Looking to Increase its Medical Device and Drug Global Market Share

Ten years ago, China was making low-tech devices and generic drugs. This scenario has changed dramatically as China can now make sophisticated devices like drug-eluting stents and hip/knee replacements similar to the West and innovative drugs that Western drug companies are now looking to license in.  According to the China Daily, over the last 5 years or so, Chinese companies have developed 217 innovative medical devices and 82 innovative drugs. The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information said that R&D spending in the healthcare space has increased by 23% over the last few years, largely driven by government funding and private healthcare venture capital.  The Chinese State Council also outlined a 3-year plan to support the development of China’s innovative devices and drugs last month.  Besides increasing local production, China hopes to reduce its dependence on importing advanced Western healthcare products, especially given the current political climate.

Two examples of Chinese fast-growing healthcare companies include Sinopharm and BeiGene. Sinomed has bought or licensed a lot of new innovative healthcare products recently. Besides new technologies, Sinopharm has also built an exhaustive distribution network in China and developed a COVID-19 vaccine used in over 100 countries.  BeiGene too is looking to develop more innovative cancer remedies and is a prominent biotech company in China. With offices in China, the US, and the EU, BeiGene has over 10,000 employees looking to develop new drugs and its leading cancer drug Brukinsa is approved in the US and many other global markets.

Written by: Ames Gross – President and Founder, Pacific Bridge Medical (PBM)
Mr. Gross founded PBM in 1988 and has helped hundreds of medical companies with regulatory and business development issues in Asia. He is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the Asian medical markets. Mr. Gross has a BA degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia University.

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