China Still Alluring? AZ, Pfizer Feel COVID Pinch, New Pricing Scheme Clouds Outlook
Pandemic Impact Starts Surfacing
Despite leading multinational pharma firms including AstraZeneca again delivering double-digit growth in China, the impact of coronavirus and an expanding volume-based purchasing scheme begin to surface.
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Only three of 40 qualified international drug firms won in the latest round of China's central bidding process, showing a toughening environment. But some companies are seemingly determined not to lower prices any further.
China has signaled that it will offer a more level playing field to foreign players as part of a bid to join a major regional trade pact but some see the gesture as offering little real relief and high hurdles remain.
Despite administering a total of 2.2 billion COVID-19 shots, China as the first country to experience the coronavirus outbreak has yet to open its borders, while more effective mRNA vaccines are still nowhere to be found amid apparent delays for the licensed-in lead candidate.