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Germany, China enter into new pharmaceutical partnership

By Zheng Yiran | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-10-29 17:19
[Photo/VCG]

German drug manufacturer Bayer and JIANKE.COM, China's leading B2C pharmaceutical e-commerce platform, have embarked upon a strategic partnership to launch a new initiative aiming to provide improved care for chronic disease patients in China.

Leveraging Bayer's strength in pharmaceuticals and JIANKE's expertise in internet medical services and e-commerce, the initiative, called "care plan", will cover a number of crucial elements including drug traceability, smart medical care, chronic disease management, patient education and healthcare provider education, grassroots-level projects and medical big data, in order to provide an integrated "Hospital to Home" medical experience for patients that features online consultation and home delivery for prescription drugs.

Zhang Jingchuan, head of National Pharmacy Management at Bayer Pharmaceuticals China, said that in terms of patient management, a "care plan" differs from traditional treatment frameworks which are considered passive - patients go to see the doctor only when they are ill. On the other hand, a care plan uses internet-enabled technology to interact with patients, monitor their drug treatment adherence, and adjust treatment plans as appropriate.

According to Zhang, an electronic healthcare record is created for each patient during his/her online medical service, and the patient is also offered a specific health improvement plan. Patients receive regular health consultation updates, and are able to be involved in chronic disease management plans at an early stage.

The latest data from the National Health Commission (NHC) shows that there are nearly 300 million patients with chronic diseases in China, and the group has been expanding by 10 million per year. China has entered a period with a high incidence of chronic diseases, and it now has the largest chronic disease patient population in the world.

According to the NHC, medical expenses for chronic diseases consumed roughly 70 percent of total medical expenses, and while mortality caused by chronic diseases accounted for 85 percent of all deaths in China. Chronic diseases have become China's No1 health concern, therefore promoting effective chronic disease management has become an urgent priority.

"The core of chronic disease management is neither doctors nor pharmacies, but patients themselves. The root cause for chronic diseases often relates to living habits and health management. Therefore, it is important to have patients included in disease management," said Zhang.

He hopes that through Jianke and Bayer's cooperation, Jianke's internet-enabled technologies can not only improve patients' accessibility to drugs, but also transform the treatment paradigm for chronic disease management from treatment to prevention.

Xie Fangmin, CEO of Jianke, noted that the two companies' partnership will improve the service level for chronic disease management - a key focus for Jianke since establishing its Chronic Disease Management Center in 2017. The center has now developed into a fully-licensed internet hospital featuring chronic disease treatment services.

"The key characteristic of our internet-based hospital service is that we seek to adapt our treatment plans to the individual patients' specific circumstances," Xie added.

"Our self-developed artificial intelligence assisted diagnosis and treatment system helps doctors to better serve patients. In addition, our big data analysis can help pharmaceutical enterprises gain valuable feedback and insights on new drugs."

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