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China Daily Website

Pharmaceutical companies seek global solutions

Updated: 2012-10-09 09:15
By Liu Jie ( China Daily)

Bruce Liu said Chinese pharmaceutical companies have become well-known as excelling in treatments for cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurological illnesses, as well as the development of new drug delivery models, biopharmaceutical generics and biological engineering.

"Large companies engaged in these sectors already have strength to go abroad, especially to big developing markets, such as Brazil and Latin American nations," says Liu.

He adds that Fosun's entry into Africa, in particular, was helped by its being included on the United Nations' list of qualified manufacturers of malaria medicine for underdeveloped African nations and regions.

Meng Dongping, vice-president of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products, adds: "Although, we have no specific statistics of how many Chinese drugmakers and medical device producers have managed successful overseas expansions, from our observations, the number has increased very fast in recent years.

"A large number have gone into developing markets, such as Southeast Asia and East Europe, but more and more are eyeing the mature Western market."

But Liu warns Chinese companies have to be "smart" when choosing a destination.

"Entry into underdeveloped and developing markets is faster and easier, but companies will face serious competition in terms of price and quantity," he said.

"Developed markets can also be more difficult and time-consuming, because of the high threshold set on technical standards, and long registration, approval and certification procedures.

"But if successful, they can prove a breakthrough for companies - a guarantee of fat profits and stable growth over a certain period of time.

"But they must make sure they carefully research local governmental regulations, industrial practices, consuming preferences and even labor quality."

Meng advises Chinese firms to go one step further and always consider employing professional consultancies, or getting advice from government departments, industrial associations and third-party consulting firms that might have a presence in any potential new market.

But above all, says Bernard of bioMerieux, when looking abroad, Chinese companies must check and make sure of the credentials of any potential partner.

"What they should always keep in mind is insisting on quality, quality and quality."

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