China's next big move to bolster domestic drug industry: Market consolidation
- As part of its ongoing healthcare reform, China will undertake consolidation of its pharmaceutical market, aiming to boost the development of its domestic industry. Additionally, China plans to further promote the development of traditional Chinese medicines.
- At a meeting on February 14, the State Council agreed to integrate ongoing healthcare, insurance, and pharmaceutical reforms in addition to strengthening supervision and R&D processes.
- Spending on healthcare in China is projected to hit $1.3 trillion by 2020, according to Reuters.
The healthcare landscape in China is highly fragmented. With a market of 1.4 billion people, the Chinese State Council plans to consolidate the industry to better serve patients and support domestic growth.
Much of the reform in China to date has focused on quality-control. The State Council seeks to build on that by improving product traceability systems and strengthening overall supervision.
Consolidation is one route toward better quality control, as it makes it easier to trace domestic drugs. As part of this, China will set up a modern circulation network for both urban and rural areas. This will include a national public services platform to communicate information about medicines.
This process is aimed not only at improving healthcare delivery, but also at driving domestic drug innovation to decrease reliance on foreign markets. "We must be determined to improve the quality of [Chinese] drugs, especially essential drugs," said Premier Li Keqiang in a separate statement.
The State Council hopes to bring modern industrial techniques to the development of alternative treatments known as traditional Chinese medicines (TCM). As part of this, China will promote international awareness and trade of TCM.