Regulatory burden of the Chinese pharmaceutical markets. A gLAWcal comment on Francesca Spigarelli and Andrea Filippetti "Grasping Knowledge in Emerging Markets: is this the case of Western Pharmaceutical Companies in China?"

In the Chinese pharmaceutical markets, there are a variety of things that must be taken into consideration when attempting to regulate it. In many industries, the Chinese portion of the production process is just one step along to the final product, and the pharmaceutical industry is no different. Simply, there are a variety of ways that the regulation of this industry is complicated. Nearly all of the largest multinational pharmaceutical companies have some presence in the Chinese market. While the author notes that it is both expensive to operate in the Chinese market, it is a huge, and ever expanding market for the consumption of the final product thanks to an increasing level of income across the nation, allowing for more of the product to be potentially purchased. An additional reason for the increasing presence of these operations in China, is the popular opinion about Western medicine has become increasingly believed to be effective in disease prevention and eradication amongst the Chinese population. This has resulted in a new regulatory burden that the Western nations have been able to sort through in previous decades. The Chinese regulators must sort through over a century of research and production to ensure that the products are safe for the population they cover. Additionally, the appetite for new and effective products have been increasing at a rate that is not seen in other developed nations. The regulators should focus on the already established products from other nations before entertaining the possibility of expanding into newly developed products. Yet, there are occasions where there are diseases that are only prevalent amongst the populations in China, that would otherwise be less of a concern to Western equivalents. This is a secondary, but quite important area that regulators should consider when prioritizing the efforts of reviewing the safety and efficacy of market-potential products.