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Int'l Drugmakers Accelerate Research Input in China
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International drugmakers have accelerated their pace to establish research input in China for new patented medicines.


During an ongoing conference held by International Pharmaceutical Federation(FIP) in Beijing, pharmaceutist like AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly and Pfizer have all displayed their research bases or centers in China.


A report released by the National Development and Reform Commission in July revealed that a lot of international drugmakers have moved research and developing sectors to China.


International drugmakers have so far invested more than 500 million U.S. dollars to establish research centers in China.


Doctor Wang Xiaoliang, director of institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, believed that some Chinese industrial zones like Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park in Shanghai have become places attracting foreign drugmakers.


The World Health Organization announced in August that at least 39 new pathogenies have been found since 1967 and many traditional viruses have also generated more variations and drug-resistance, which compels more new patented medicines to come up.


However, IMS Health, a medical counseling company, indicated that about 29 billion U.S. dollars worth prescription medicine patents in the U.S. expired or were about to expire in recent two years.


"Losing patents will have negative impact on international drugmaker's profit," said Wang Liqun, a representitive with AstraZeneca in China, "China with comparatively lower cost, more medical talents and more market potential is really a good choice."


Wang said his company has employed many Chinese local talents cultivated by improved domestic education for administrators at middle level and basic research staff.


"Establishing research centers in China will reduce international drugmaker's cost to sell new medicines and attract more talents from domestic companies," said Zhang Guojun, vice chairman of the board of Zhejiang Medicine Co. Ltd.


Doctor Wang Xiaoliang believed that the competition for new medicines and talents between foreign and domestic drugmakers will benefit the market and make domestic companies stronger eventually.


The doctor also said international drugmakers will cooperate with domestic medical institutes and pharmaceutical companies to carry out their research in China, which will also help more Chinese relevant researchers and clinic doctors participate in global medical research.


(Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2007)


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