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Allergan to expand product portfolio in Chinese market

By Zheng Yiran | China Daily | Updated: 2020-09-25 10:36
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An Allergan Aesthetics employee checks a customer at an experience center in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Allergan Aesthetics, a unit of United States-based pharmaceutical company AbbVie, will introduce new products in the Chinese market every year to further expand its product portfolio in the country, a company official said.

Ethan Qiu, general manager of Allergan Aesthetics China, said that the parent company is extremely confident about growth of the Chinese market and will increase investment in the country over the next few years.

"China's population structure determines that its consumption sector will see rapid growth. During the COVID-19 epidemic period, the Chinese government showed its strong capabilities in relocating resources and personnel, which has further strengthened our confidence to invest in the country," he said.

Currently, the company's product portfolio includes facial injections and body reshapers. In the future, it will introduce a skin care line, to further meet the demands of Chinese consumers. According to the company, it will launch at least one to two products in the Chinese market every year. The acceleration of drug approvals and favorable policies launched in the Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone in Hainan will spur more pharmaceutical product launches, said experts.

The Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone is the only one of its kind in China that enjoys nine preferential policies such as special permission to import medical technology, medical equipment and medicines.

The policies allow medical institutions in the zone to import and use badly-needed drugs and medical equipment from overseas that are not yet approved by the top drug authority in China.

In December 2019, Allergan Aesthetics introduced its medical aesthetics product Volux in the pilot zone, marking the product's debut in China. On Sept 22, another product of Allergan Aesthetics, namely Volift, was officially launched to the Chinese market at Boao Lecheng. The product effectively fills nasolabial folds and eases the pain during treatment.

Hu Shanshan, deputy head of the policy management bureau of the Hainan provincial health commission, said: "The healthcare sector is an important sector for development of the Hainan Free Trade Port, and the medical aesthetics industry, as part of the healthcare sector, is a pillar industry. By 2025, Hainan aims to establish a healthcare system with optimized mechanism, sophisticated organizations and distinctive features."

"The goal is to build Hainan into a healthcare demonstration zone and encourage more people to travel and receive healthcare services here," he said.

Wang Jin, deputy director of the publicity department of the Hainan Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone Administration, said that by the end of June, Boao Lecheng had introduced more than 100 innovative drugs and medical equipment from overseas. In the future, Boao Lecheng will continue to introduce advanced international medical technology, products and equipment to China, and further integrate healthcare, rehabilitation and tourism.

In recent years, China has been stepping up efforts to stabilize foreign investment. In August, the Ministry of Commerce launched a guideline on handling the complaint mechanism of foreign-invested enterprises, which will take effect from Oct 1. The guideline further optimized the foreign investment business environment, enhanced the investment expectations and confidence of foreign enterprises, and helped China build a higher-level open economic system and form new advantages in international cooperation and competition.

Wang Bingnan, vice-minister of commerce, said earlier during the China International Fair for Trade in Services that China will further lower market access for its services trade industry, continue to reduce the negative list for foreign investment access, and accelerate the opening-up process in sectors like healthcare.

Qiu from Allergan Aesthetics said that this year, due to the epidemic influence, many multinational corporations are axing a large number of jobs. However, the number of its employees in China increased by nearly 30 percent, and it plans to recruit more staff members next year.

"We are optimistic about the Chinese market. We hope that in the future, with more businesses being set up, our presence in the country will further expand," he said.

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