Chinese Pharma: A Global Health Game Changer?

Published on Author baiazbekovaa15

The twenty-first century shift in geoeconomic power toward Asia has also influenced on a global pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) investment toward emerging economies. China is currently the world’s second-highest investor in R&D and is poised to overtake the United States in R&D spending by 2023. Determined to become a world leader in the pharmaceutical sector, China spent $1.17 billion on promoting life and medical sciences in 2012—nearly ten times its 2004 level of investment. With U.S. funding for medical research, the rise in Chinese funding has prompted many policymakers to ask if the country’s pharmaceutical industry could be the next game changer for global public health and access to medicine (ATM).

17305_10152606957402030_2125722853068819054_n    Over the past decade, there has been growing international pressure for China to assume a leadership role in global health. While China has made great strides in contributing to the global supply chain and ATM-enhancement, several institutional, policy, and capacity factors have severely constrained the country’s ability to build upon existing success to become a true innovator in the pharmaceutical industry. In the absence of fundamental changes in governance, industrial policy, and R&D capacities, experts believe that it would be imcomplete to call China’s pharmaceutical sector a game changer in global health.

7 Responses to Chinese Pharma: A Global Health Game Changer?

  1. China’s population is aging quickly. As they phase into old-age, they will incur higher healthcare costs. The costs should not be a problem given their characteristically high rate of savings. So the future looks very promising for the Chinese pharma-companies producing the drugs and healthcare products. Seems to justify such high R&D investment.

    • In principle savings is one means of financing intergenerational transfers, as it frees up resources from those working so that they can be consumed by those retired. However, my savings doesn’t help your grandmother. Read Ma & Adams.

  2. With this investment in medicine, China’s older population will continue to get older. This could put a burden on younger people who must take care of aging, yet healthy people due to medicine. In addition to medical research, the Chinese may need to dedicate more resources to the welfare of older individuals.

  3. As we can see in healthcare reform in China, addressing supply issues is the low-hanging fruit of reform. Though hard investment in R&D will increase China’s possibility of becoming a game changer in global pharmaceutical field, policies that would continuously support the funding should be accompanied otherwise it would fail to bear successful outcome.

  4. This is one area where China has demonstrated the potential for world-leading innovations. Of course, different countries will always lead in different sub-fields, but to see China innovating and pursuing top notch original research – as opposed to hacking and copying – is a welcome sign of a maturing nation.

  5. From the standpoint of Pharma – my brother worked for 3 decades as a research chemist – China has a bountiful supply of cheap, well-trained biochemists and cellular biologists who can staff R&D facilities. It’s not just Chinese firms doing research, it’s the US and Europe players, too. We’ll see how these ventures do – hopefully well, for everyone’s sake!

  6. Honestly, it does not make economic sense for healthcare research to be exclusively made in Europe, Japan and the US. This development will in the long run be positive for not only China and the world as a whole. The influx of Chinese funds and a Chinese perspective will lead to a improvements in medical care across the board.