API drug makers to get shot in the arm

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, February 18, 2011
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The government plans to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the nation's pharmaceutical sector in an effort to boost exports of the active ingredients in many of today's prescription drugs, the local media reported Thursday.

Citing an unnamed official, the Shanghai Securities News reported Thursday that the government has outlined a draft of the new policy where it may invest up to 5 billion yuan ($759.29 million) in the sector. The paper stated the policy would be released in the first half of this year, without providing any additional details.

These active pharmaceutical ingredients, or API drugs, are the key chemical components of a drug that perform the intended chemistry in the body and hopefully bring about the sought-after therapeutic response.

Yu Mingde, president of the Chinese Pharmaceutical Enterprises Association said, "In the next five years, the government will assist some 60 producers in the sector with the goal of reaching international quality standards of manufacturing, and also help the sector realize total export volume of more than $4 billion."

China produces most of the world's API drugs, Guo Fanli, a pharmaceutical analyst with CIC Industry Research Center, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Even so, it is still difficult for Chinese API drugs to get into developed countries. "The majority of the API drugs produced in China are exported to Africa, since it is hard for Chinese drug producers to comply with the quality standards of Western countries," Guo said.

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