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Global Health Progress Fact Sheet Projects China Will Become One of World’s Major Biopharmaceutical Players


Data revealed in Global Health Progress’ (GHP) new fact sheet shows that China is projected to become one of the world’s major biopharmaceutical players, along with the U.S., Europe, and Japan, in the next fifteen years. This projection is based on China’s commitment to improving access to healthcare by expanding its biotechnology sector, increasing its exportation of biopharmaceuticals and investing in pharmaceutical research and development (R&D).

China has one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a gross domestic product of more than $8 trillion. Its biotechnology sector has become a bright spot in the Asia Pacific region and the world markets, with an impressive average annual growth rate of 19.4% between 2000 and 2005, and is anticipated to become the world’s third-largest pharmaceutical market in 2011, a major increase over its #8 rank in 2000

Part of China’s successful growth is due to its decision to improve access to healthcare by increasing exports of biopharmaceuticals. For example, in 2006 China exported a total of US $890 million in biopharmaceuticals - a 30.61% increase compared with the previous year. China has also become the largest vaccine manufacturing country in the world, capable of producing 41 vaccines to prevent 26 viral diseases, and has become the third country to succeed in large-scale production of genetically engineered insulin.

Additionally, China’s pharmaceutical R&D expenditures are expected to reach US $10 billion or 2% of global spending by the end of 2010. The country is expected to contribute an additional $40+ billion in annual sales by 2013, comparable to the level of increased sales forecast for the US market in the same period.

China’s investment in the biotechnology sector has translated into improvements regarding access to healthcare and the country’s economic growth through creating high-quality, highly skilled jobs. Currently, there are more than 500 biotechnology companies in China with the biopharmaceutical sector employing approximately 50,000 people. Additionally, pharmaceutical R&D is taking the form of multinational biopharmaceutical companies setting up research facilities in biotechnology parks in China, which can drive highly-skilled, high wage job growth and encourage better access to healthcare.
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