China Growth Rebounds But Pharma Starts Cutting Prices
The second quarter has been a period of stabilization for multinational drug makers in China, where the challenges of cost-cutting and a national policy to encourage domestic generics remain. Big pharmas including Novartis and Roche are voluntarily reduce prices for major products, to help them compete, reflecting a new willingness to improve patient access in the world's second-largest pharma market.
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Multinational pharma firms have had a widely varied quarter in China, with some clear winners emerging with double-digit growth while others are still in the doldrums. What are the factors behind the figures?
Merck & Co reported continued good growth in China in the second quarter, helped in large part by its diabetes franchise, and the company is looking to further strengthen its presence in this market through disease awareness efforts and a major recently inaugurated R&D center.
Despite shorter term general cost pressures and the time needed for approval reviews, Pfizer sees a strong future for its biosimilar operations in China, as it recorded a solid second quarter performance for its traditional franchises and unveiled a series of new health alliances in this key emerging market.