Francesca Spigarelli Hao Wei

The Chinese Pharmaceutical Market: Driving Forces and Emerging Trends

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Dramatic changes are emerging in the Chinese pharmaceutical market, as a result of new Government policies, new consumer habits and behaviour, growing competition among local and foreign firms. From a demand side perspective, consumptions of pharmaceutical products are booming thanks to a combined effect of economic growth, aging population, urbanization and health system reforms. Key forces shaping the demand are examined in the paper, with a specific attention to health care reforms as well as to new habits and confidence of Chinese people towards the Western medicine. In this regard, import and export trends of products, consumption, and expected evolution of demand are examined. From a supply side perspective, two main trends are highlighted: the increasing and changing interest of foreign investors, and the effort of Chinese pharmaceutical firms to affirm in the national and international market. To better understand the ongoing changes, key players of the markets, as well as trends and motivation of inward foreign direct investments (fdi) to China are examined. At the same time, intellectual property data are considered: main source of patents (foreign vs local firms) and main kind of products protected (raw materials vs basic products vs drugs, as well as Western and Traditional Chinese medicine products).


  • Chinese Pharmaceutical Market
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Trade
  • fdi


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