Updated on 23 May 2012
Bribery continues to remain a significant problem in China's hospitals. Hence, in November 2011, the health ministry increased its efforts to eliminate collaboration between doctors and sales personnel from pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies. Doctors, if found guilty, will face a two-year ban on practicing in their respective hospitals.
According to IMS Health, the pharmaceutical market for 2011 stood at $40.8 billion registering a growth of 17.1 percent. Business Monitor International (BMI) has estimated the pharmaceutical expenditure in 2011 at $66.7 billion which will go up to $81.3 billion in 2012, registering a growth of 21.6 percent. BMI also estimates that the healthcare sector in China will rise from $290 billion in 2011 to $324 billion in 2012, with a growth rate of more than 16.6 percent in terms of US dollar. Additionally, the medical devices market will reach $24.7 billion in 2012 from $21.6 billion in 2011, a growth of more than 14.5 percent.
The Chinese market represents many opportunities for foreign business, and if new regulatory reforms prove successful and the inadequacy of rural healthcare is effectively addressed, then the number of previously untapped consumers makes China an attractive market.
The vast pool of people in China pose an attractive proposition for carrying out large-scale clinical research studies. China's colossal healthcare expenditure, coupled with a burgeoning middle class and the rise of chronic diseases, presents a platform for double-digit growth that cannot be matched in western economies.
China has emerged as a favorable destination for drug discovery and manufacturing with influx of investments and significant reforms imbibed in the country's policy.