Second Spring? Coverage Expansion Fuels Big Pharma China Growth But '4+7' Impact Lingers
AstraZeneca, Novartis and Roche deliver north of 20% sales growth in China again, driven by expanded reimbursement coverage and new product launches, but some clouds are on the horizon over falling sales due to the impact of the expanding “4+7” centralized procurement scheme.
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2019 will be remembered as a banner year for international drug makers as many grew at phenomenal rates in China, despite expansion of the “4+7” centralized procurement scheme and steep price cuts in exchange for reimbursement. As the government continues to emphasize affordability for cancer drugs and major anti-infectives, competition is heating up quickly and immune-oncology alone has seen six PD-1s elbowing each other for market share.
India's Sun Pharma joins hands with AstraZeneca to commercialize certain 'ready to use' oncology therapies in China, hoping to capitalize on the UK firm’s strong position in this market.
As China embraces novel new drugs, oncology is quickly becoming the biggest opportunity for pharma to drive growth in this market. Amgen is the latest to jump on board through the purchase of a significant stake in BeiGene.