Local Presence and Proactive Regulatory Approaches Needed
A new Economist Intelligence Unit report sponsored by Quintiles concludes that “China is a complex market that can yield pro?ts to those companies that jump in with both feet, adapt to the realities of doing business in China, and actively protect their interests in this dynamic business environment.”
The report, titled Emerging China is the third of four in the Quintiles-sponsored series, Reinventing biopharma: Strategies for an evolving marketplace.* Findings are based on surveys of life sciences executives. In the latest report, more than half (56%) said that maximizing opportunities in China was one of their company’s top priorities.
The report’s key findings include:
China is projected to be the world’s second largest biopharma market as early as 2016, behind only the United States;
A local presence in China has translated into success for biopharma companies: 61% of respondents with operations in China had sales that met or exceeded moderate-to-high expectations in the last three years, compared to just 36% for those with no such operations;
Low income levels among Chinese households (60% of China’s 403 million households had an annual income over $5,000 in 2011) and patchy market data can create unique challenges for biopharma who are more used to operating in developed markets;
Proactively adapting to the regulatory environment can save time and money; companies often find that obtaining approval for new medications can take five years longer in China than in other markets, and innovative strategies are required.
“The projected growth rate in China of 19% year-on-year between 2009 and 2016 is due mostly to rising incomes and an ageing population, providing an opportunity that the industry cannot afford to miss,” said Paul Kielstra, Ph.D., Author, EIU.
“The new report’s findings echo our own experience in China – it’s essential to ‘understand local, think local and be local,’” said Ling Zhen, Vice President and General Manager for Greater China Region, Quintiles. “We are increasing our own investment and infrastructure in China to help our biopharma customers efficiently enter or expand in this dynamic market of 1.3 billion people.”
Recent Quintiles initiatives in China have included: agreements to expand lab testing capabilities and establish a regional headquarters for China in Shanghai; establishment of a Center of Excellence in Dalian northeast China, launch of Kun Tuo, a local Clinical Research Organization for China; expansion of consulting services offered; and the launch of a new Strategic Drug Development organization.
*About the research
This report is based on a survey of 270 senior life sciences executives from biopharmaceutical companies (64%); medical devices companies (21%); and service providers such as contract research organizations (10%). All came from ?rms that currently have (51%) or are planning to establish in the next three years (49%) operations in China or Taiwan. The sample is senior, with 61% C-level or above. Respondents are distributed globally, with 34% based in Western Europe, 32% from the Asia-Paci?c region and 30% from North America. Corporate respondents come from firms of all sizes: 53% represent companies with less than US$500m in annual revenue, while 17% work for companies with more than US$5 billion. The EIU supplemented desk research with interviews with seven senior executives and other leading experts.
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