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HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, China
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Chinese pharma sales to hit $268b by 2028: Fitch Solutions

The effects of regulatory change on the sales of patented medicine are expected to be mild.

Sales of pharmaceutical products in China is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7% to hit $268b (CNY 1,744b) by 2028 as the sector benefits from looser policies on generic medicine imports, Fitch Solutions reported.

Multinational drugmakers AstraZeneca and Merck & Co, who both operate in China, reported sales growth of 44% and 51% respectively in Q2 2019.

Starting 01 December, Chinese authorities will allow an easier importation of generic medicines approved by other regulatory bodies but not in China, although large-scale imports for profit will still need approval from the country.

This regulatory change came about as some patients could not afford the patented medicines not being reimbursed under the universal healthcare scheme.

Although local manufacturers of patented medicines could face a negative impact on sales, the effect is noted to be mild versus the factors that continue to drive foreign direct investments and sales in the country.

This includes a rapidly ageing population, a well-established manufacturing industry for pharma, and government commitment to its development. "Generally this trend, alongside the expansion of universal healthcare, has helped to boost the outlook for the market," Fitch Solutions wrote.

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