The Chinese medical industry has traditionally been criticized for allowing products to be copied and replicated, and has struggled to enforce intellectual property laws. However, recent studies confirm that the growth and progress in China’s Research and Development (R&D) capacities will lead to new Chinese compounds in the future. From 2006 to 2010 China tripled its biopharma R&D investments to $3.5 billion, and Chinese companies increased their R&D spending by 40% in 2015. Meanwhile, Western companies experienced far less R&D growth. In about ten years, China is expected to surpass the United States as the worldwide R&D leader.
This R&D investment appears promising for the future of China’s pharmaceutical sector. A recent study by CPhI noted that China’s drug manufacturing sector is projected to expand tremendously, rising to the technologic level of other advanced countries within the next 5 years. Furthermore, the quality of Chinese products is also improving due to the desire for higher quality products by domestic consumers. The report explains that five years from now, not only will generic drugs and APIs be exported from China, but New Chemical Entities (NCEs) will also be patented and exported by China. As China’s R&D investment continues to increase, its pharmaceutical industry will grow and compete on par with western nations in the global marketplace.