China’s Pharmaceutical Market Primed to Explode

Reuters reports that reforms in China’s health care system may be a boon for global pharmaceutical companies:

As growth in the U.S. and European markets remains sluggish, many giant pharmaceutical companies are expanding their sales forces, distribution channels and research operations in China to tap into the country’s robust drug market — expected to expand at about 22 percent annually over the next five years, said Mandy Chui, senior principal of IMS Health Inc.

Chui is the China expert at IMS Health, which provides market data on the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

“We see companies continuing to invest in China because the other markets are not growing,” Chui said in an interview. “For companies, (China’s growth) is certainly a good story to tell to the Street, right?”

With a huge and aging population, rapid urbanization and adoption of Western lifestyles that give rise to hypertension, obesity and other diseases, China is poised to become the world’s third biggest pharmaceutical market by 2013, up from its current No. 5 spot, said Chui.

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