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Lowering drug prices remains a top priority for health authorities. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) implemented two rounds of drug price reductions in 2011, one in March and the other in September. Most of the drugs reduced were manufactured by multinationals, which had previously not been subject to pricing controls. In terms of regulatory developments, the SFDA started to inspect overseas manufacturing facilities in November 2011, as the agency seeks to align its practices with international standards. In July 2011, the MoH revealed that it may introduce mandatory licensing policy to secure cheaper drugs for HIV/AIDS patients, as part of the country's universal health coverage programme.
The highly fragmented drug distribution industry in China continued to see consolidation in 2011. This is part of the government's 12th Five-Year Plan 2011-2015, to strengthen the national drug distribution industry by actively supporting acquisitions, mergers and reorganisations. There were a number of competitive strategies completed in the second half of 2011: GPHG acquired Qingdao Likang Pharmaceutical Company and Shandong Hua Wei; Pfizer signed a drug distribution agreement with Jointown; Alliance Boots signed a letter of intent to acquire a stake in Nanjing Pharmaceutical; and Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group strengthened its drug distribution in Northern China through a large capital expenditure.
Espicom projects that the Chinese pharmaceutical market will grow by a moderate double-digit figure between 2012 and 2017. China will be the largest pharmaceutical market in the Asia Pacific region, overtaking Japan in 2016. China will represent over a third of the Asia Pacific region's total pharmaceutical market in 2017. A number of Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturers have witnessed massive growth in recent years and have expanded their operations both domestically and abroad. The top 10 local pharmaceutical manufacturers, including China Pharmaceutical Group, Harbin Pharmaceutical Group, North China Pharmaceutical and Shanghai Pharmaceuticals, had collective revenue of around US$10.0 billion in 2010.
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Espicom's highly-regarded world pharmaceutical market research reports provide enhanced strategic intelligence in a user-friendly format. Each report provides in-depth information, setting the pharmaceutical market in context. The reports provide:
Market size and trends impacting the development of the market.
Five-year projections for market indicators such as health spending.
Regulations on drug applications & approvals, pricing & reimbursement as well as wholesaling and retail.
Specialised intelligence on generics and biological medicines.
Foreign and local company profiles
Community pharmacists are the health professionals most accessible to the public. They supply medicines in accordance with a prescription or, when legally permitted, sell them without a prescription. In addition to ensuring an accurate supply of appropriate products, their professional activities also cover counselling of patients at the time of dispensing of prescription and non-prescription drugs, drug information to health professionals, patients and the general public, and participation in health-promotion programmes. They maintain links with other health professionals in primary health care.