GlobalData Release: China and India Challenge Pharma Giants to Boost Their Healthcare Systems

Published: Aug 22, 2012

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 22 August 2012 - Mature pharmaceutical markets such as the US and EU countries are showing relatively little change, in contrast to the rapidly evolving healthcare markets of large emerging nations, China and India, states a new report by healthcare experts GlobalData.

The new report, Global Healthcare Policy Analysis 2012 – Regulatory, Pricing, and Reimbursement Assessment, examines the profound regulatory changes and economic growth experienced by these two countries which are bringing increased access to medications and healthcare services for millions of citizens.

Over recent years, China has successfully transformed itself into the world’s second largest economy. China’s current Five-Year Plan, setting policy for 2011-2015, was crafted with the goal of boosting research and development, especially in the biomedical sector, and reducing social inequality. The Chinese government is implementing a series of healthcare reforms, such as extending basic medical insurance coverage to cover 90% of the urban and rural population, and establishing an essential drug supply system to develop a unified distribution network. The plan to construct 29,000 township hospitals, resulting in one hospital for each county, is to be met by the free training of General Practitioners (GP) and the recruitment of new doctors for rural areas.

India’s recent healthcare policies reflect China’s aim of caring for the country’s increasing population, by allowing billions of people to gain access to healthcare for the first time. In early March, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who once described the country’s healthcare system as a ‘national shame’, announced plans for a massive increase in spending on healthcare. India currently lags behind other developing countries in terms of healthcare outcomes, with a shockingly high rate of infant mortality and a 40% rate of child malnourishment. If the country is to build upon its recent economic gains, it must improve its healthcare system. India, like China, plans to invest in medical staff training, aiming to open 600 medical schools and 1,500 nursing colleges to train over one million doctors and 2.5 million nurses in an effort to lessen the country’s shortage of caregivers.

China and India have populations numbering billions, yet pharmaceutical pricing pressures are set to increase, and may thwart the efforts of global companies to profit greatly from this potential goldmine. The regulation of drug pricing represents a growing trend, with India granting its first compulsory license in March, allowing local generics manufacturers to produce a generic version of Bayer’s patented cancer drug, Nexavar, despite intellectual property protections. Although China has not yet granted any compulsory licenses, it has announced an intention to do so in the future. The encouragement of compulsory licensing presents a material risk to pharmaceutical drug sales, with Roche already taking pre-emptive steps to introduce cheaper, differently branded versions of certain drugs in an attempt to control the abuse of their patents. GlobalData’s senior analyst for healthcare industry dynamics, Michael Leibfried states that, “the oncology giant has announced it will introduce cheaper, differently branded versions of certain drugs in India – pre-empting the issuance of compulsory licenses and could serve as a deterrent against the exportation of these drugs to markets that are more lucrative.” Only the future will show whether these emerging countries will allow intellectual property to be upheld, or whether their ambition for affordable public healthcare will challenge more laws and stymie corporate investment.

*China and India Challenge Pharma Giants to Boost their Healthcare Systems

This report provides an in-depth look at the policy initiatives and regulations shaping pharmaceutical markets around the world. Focusing on the global regulatory landscape in 2012, the report integrates in-depth research into the policies of major international markets with expert insight to reveal the opportunities and threats that the pharmaceutical industry is facing. Clients can use this report for strategic planning to tackle the challenges of developed markets and discover prospects in emerging markets. The report covers major healthcare policy initiatives, regulatory changes and key drug approvals, and examines the myriad of regulatory issues that are constantly affecting pharmaceutical and biotechnology players.

This report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GlobalData’s team of industry experts.


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