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- 04/19/2017

Joe Jimenez, CEO of Novartis, analyses the Chinese pharmaceutical industry

Pharma Horizon

Novartis Ceo, Joe Jimenez, believes that the growth in China’s pharmaceuticals market will accelerate due to the fast approvals from the nation’s health authorities to combat increasing rates of diseases like cancer and hepatitis.

To get approval for a drug, already approved in other countries, for the Chinese market could have taken several years in the past, but now “They recognize they have a population that really wants to be part of getting access to health care and new medicines,” Jimenez  said “They’re starting to bring down those barriers.”

An example from Novartis is Votrient, a treatment for a form of kidney cancer called advanced renal cell carcinoma, and its medicine Jakavi, for myelofibrosis, that have received Chinese approval in the last couple of months, as well as AstraZeneca Plc’s Tagrisso for lung cancer and Roche Holding AG’s melanoma drug Zelboraf that got approval in recent weeks.

China government is also trying to keep down health-care costs and drugs prices.

The Novartis CEO also underlined how in China is starting to emerge an innovative pharmaceutical industry thanks to the scientists returning to the country from the U.S. and also, even if it will take some time to develop, new biotech companies are growing.

Novaritis itself has more than 300 scientists working in China on illness suc as liver disease and stomach cancer.  Last month Jimenez also let know to the pharma industry that the first drug discovered by these scientists has already entered early clinical trials.

The Chinese pharmaceutical market is an important one as it is  now the world’s second-biggest, just behind the U.S.

Jimenez also view as a good “choice” Scott Gottlieb to lead the U.S. FDA, as he “wants to accelerate drug development in the U.S. and reduce some of the excess of regulation, but at the same time he recognizes the need to increase competition.”


Source: Bloomberg