China's Hengrui Halts Most Generic Development
The Move Comes After Prices Free Fall In China
China’s favorite domestic drug maker seems to have a warning for the industry - innovate or halt. After the recent round of “4+7” centralized procurement saw some off-patent drugs priced at pennies, the leading Chinese firm Hengrui has decided to halve its generics portfolio to focus on innovative new drugs.
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China saw a 150% increase in new drug approval applications in 2018, with oncology taking the lion's share of investigational new drug filings, notes a newly released annual report from China’s Center for Drug Evaluation. Meanwhile Darzalex has become the latest foreign drug to be approved.
Still a largely self-pay market, China is in the middle of a new drug approvals rush with 48 clearances in 2018 and more pending, forcing manufacturers to innovate their access models. Among several emerging strategies, a "Three P" combination of pricing, private insurance and patient assistance seems to be winning the day.