The key messages of the Swiss Chinese Life Sciences Forum 2018 in a nutshell:
- The Chinese Pharma industry is in transformation from a supplier of basic molecules and generics to becoming a major force in the development of innovative treatments and gene-based therapies.
- So far, three quarters of the Chinese drug market are generic or basic drugs. The potential for innovative drugs is huge.
- The quality of innovative drug development in China is improved and accelerated massively. To that purpose, the Center for Drug Evaluation at the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) enlarged its staff from 200 to 800 experts in evaluation.
- Development of new drugs in China is still largely driven by the need for affordable drugs. However, this paradigm is now slowly shifting towards innovation: For a new drug to be approved it needs to prove originality and novelty. Instead of being first in China, new drugs need to be first in the world now.
The CDFA accepts applications for foreign drugs under the condition that the clinical data meets the Chinese standard. Further, Chinese medical centers and Chinese populations must be included in trials.
China is the second largest pharmaceutical market in the world. Yet the knowledge about China is still underdeveloped.