China: Market Scenario Western China’s Pharma Manufacturing Needs Investment: Global Data
West China’s pharma manufacturing is lagging behind other regions in the country and requires international as well as domestic investment, states Global Data, a leading data and analytics company. However, human rights violations in China’s westernmost provinces have limited major foreign investments in the region.
London/UK – Western China’s pharmaceutical production needs international and domestic investment, as there are less number of facilities compared to other Chinese regions and few international pharma companies or CMOs in the region given its geographic size, says Global Data.
Adam Bradbury, Pharm Source Analyst at Global Data, comments: “There may be limits on international investment as a response to human rights violations, which have occurred in China’s westernmost provinces.”
China has occupied Tibet since 1950 and Xinjiang has an ongoing issue of serious human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims, including forced labor.
Bradbury continues: “It is not clear yet if the new Biden presidency will continue this stance with the same fervor as its predecessors, although Biden has stated that there will be repercussions for China’s human rights abuses such as the persecution of the Uighur people native to the western province of Xinjiang and the crackdown on democracy protests in Hong Kong.”
All pharma manufacturing facilities in western China are positioned in the more central provinces and there is a very notable absence of pharma manufacturing in the westernmost provinces. Sichuan contains 55 % of all pharma facilities in western China, and all facilities in the province are owned by domestic Chinese pharmaceutical companies.
Bradbury continues: “There are few manufacturing sites compared with other regions of China, such as the eastern provinces. There is also a distinct lack of investment from international companies in any of the western provinces, with Athenex operating an API chemical facility in Chongqing province being the notable exception.”
The western provinces supply the domestic market more than the US and EU markets, as there are twice as many facilities without EMA or FDA approval as approved. More facilities are approved by the FDA than by the EMA.
Bradbury concludes: “This shows a heavy reliance on US sales and can be concerning to Chinese pharma manufacturers, given US protectionist policies in recent years.
“Companies and governments based in western China can encourage outside investment and benefit from supplying a greater range of markets, although most of them supply domestically to a large and rapidly growing consumer market.”