R&D spend driving China pharma co’s

Companies are narrowing the gap

China is not a powerhouse of innovation, yet, but it is certainly trying to pay its way into that particular status. This willingness to spend in R&D – to pay to talent, buy innovative companies and seek out new technologies – is particularly visible in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology space. And it is working.

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China Issues Biosimilar Guidelines Draft

A long-awaited set of guidelines for a billion-dollar market.

After years of waiting, Chinese biosimilar makers will soon have a set of guidelines to follow.

This post on Thomson Reuters Life Sciences Connect news blog (HERE) outlines the  industry’s reaction to the draft biosimilar guidelines.

The global biologics market is experiencing a golden age over the current decade. As drug development progresses, it’s time for biopharmaceutical companies to start reaping its rewards. The market is expected to grow more than 80 percent from $138 billion in 2010 to $253 billion by 2020, according to Sandoz international GmbH. And $2 billion of this will be coming from biosimilar products.

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Venezuela’s farcical medical device crisis

BOGOTA, Colombia. The government of Venezuela, which owes medical device companies around the world more than US$245 million, is now calling for the arrest of domestic device distributors.

In an impressive display of do-it-yourselfness President Nicolás Maduro himself led a daring raid into a warehouse full of medical devices, seized them all and swore: “as my name is Nicolás Maduro” the “bourgeois” that dared invest and trade in his country would find themselves in handcuffs.

Among the people in question is an older man who is in charge of the warehouses at Suministros Médicos Jayor (he is the father of the owner) and has been in Miami for four weeks recovering from a heart attack. The Venezuelan Association of Distributors of Medical, Odontological and Lab Devices the company has been in business for a quarter century.

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Vaccines are good

Vaccines are great. They are arguably one of the most important public health tools of the last century.

About 1,000 years ago, the Chinese came up with the first early inoculation process. Six centuries later, Europeans tried to develop one against smallpox. Today, they are in widespread use. Measles, mumps, chickenpox, yellow fever, typhoid fever and many other once crippling diseases are virtually non-issues in much of the developed world.

The value of vaccination, as a concept, is impossible to ignore.

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Another burst in Japan: drug approvals

Japan’s healthcare industry has been marked by a fascinating dichotomy for the last couple of decades. A dichotomy that hurt patients most of all.

On the one hand, Japan is home to the second largest pharmaceutical and biopharma market in the world. A market populated by world-class multinationals that develop leading drugs.

On the other hand, the country’s regulatory system has long been notoriously slow to approve new drugs. As a result, patients there would often have to wait years for new drugs that were already available in markets like the U.S., Canada, Australia or the E.U.

This seems to be changing.

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Healthcare Research Suggests More Growth in the Offing

Japan’s efforts to recreate its healthcare funding system provides at least one reason behind the ongoing bull market in healthcare and biotech.

Japan is creating a new National Institute of Health (NIH) that follows the U.S. funding model for the healthcare industry. That is good news for drug and medical device companies that may now have easier access to funds and for the entire healthcare industry in Japan as a whole, which has been stalled for a couple of decades.

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