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China Pharma and Biotech Market Update - Sept 14, 2010


Reform retreat: Beijing municipal health authorities have given up plans to restrict local drug distribution to 10 authorized companies. Responding to accusations of local favoritism, the city government last week announced the previous plan would be sidelined. Roughly 250 enterprises again will be participating in local distribution. See volume 36 of the China Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Review for more on plans for centralized procurement in China. GBI SOURCE users will find the article in the Special Reports section.)
In another blow to centralized procurement (or at least to its current incarnation), a lawsuit brought against the Chongqing Municipal Health Bureau claiming that the agency, as a supervisory body, did not have the right direct drug bidding and purchasing was won by the plaintiff, a (well-connected) pharmaceutical company owner. Meanwhile back in Beijing, a supervisory committee has been created to monitor hospital antibiotic usage in response to of fears of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria carrying the New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1) enzyme. Could NDM-1 actually bring systematic and rational antibiotic prescribing habits to China? Now that really would be a "super-bug!"

Click on this week's SOURCE Snapshot to see a list of hospitals (including location, number of beds, and estimated outpatient flows) authorized by the Chinese government to perform clinical trials on infectious diseases.
source sanpshot


After many years of foreign ownership restrictions on healthcare facilities, China's government as announced its intention to permit wholly foreign owned enterprises (WFOEs) to open medical institutions in China. Stay tuned to see if this really comes to pass. [Late breaking addition- the MOH has just today denied that it is considering this option.] In the past, ownership had been capped at 70%, and required JV participation of a local partner. For more on foreign-run healthcare delivery in China, listen to the past GBI Interview with Dr. Jonathan Seah, former CEO of ParkwayHealth China GBI SOURCE users will find this and many other interview transcripts in the Interviews section.

Eye caramba! Roche's Avastin (bevacizumab) received some unwanted publicity last week after over fifty patients who received the drug off-label for degenerative eye disorders returned with complaints of infection and vision impairment. While the cause remains unclear, it is possible that improper/non-sterile use of the product, in which a single vial is used for multiple small ophthalmic doses, is to blame. To track reported ADRs for drugs in China, GBI SOURCE users may check the Drug Insert/ADR tab for individual drugs listed in the Product section.

In other news, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and the Chinese Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control concluded two year a joint project training grassroots health care professionals about hepatitis treatments, (BMS markets Baraclude/entecavir for viral hepatitis in China); the Shenzhen government signed an agreement with Sinopharm subsidiary Shenzhen Accord pledging to give preference to the company when selecting local drug distributors in return for Accord establishing local R&D facilities and collaborations; Guangdong released a list of 340 drug price cuts (of which 272 are western medicines) and also placed limits on medical device markups; and Chongqing Daxin Pharmaceuticals earmarked over RMB 200 million for construction of a new environmentally friendly manufacturing facility. For more, visit us at, where we are certainly green/environmentally friendly, but our competitors are even more green... with envy - at the sheer amount of our detailed and useful information.

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