“Supervision and Control Rules for Food and Drug Management on the Internet” (hereinafter referred to as the “Rules”) medicine electricity traders eagerly awaited has been officially finalized. The Rules is expected to be announced shortly. Policy of prescription drugs online sales will soon be settled. The first batch of more than 200 products may be included. The e-commerce development of pharmaceutical industry will spurt.
At a time when Indian pharmaceutical’s over-dependency on Chinese market for raw materials is a rising concern, Chinese companies are showing interest in sourcing medicines from India, especially anti-cancer drugs from Gujarat.
The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) plans to allow online sales of prescription drugs as early as this month, opening up the market to existing online e-commerce platform operators like Alibaba.com and JD.com.
Speculation about a new policy has been circulating since mid-2014. If approved, the policy could lead to the emergence of a market worth more than RMB 1 trillion ($161 billion) as sales shift from hospitals to online pharmacies. The policy will also help reform the Chinese market that has been solely controlled by state hospitals and distributors.
China is already the world’s third-biggest market, behind only America and Japan, and is likely to consume $75 billion-worth of medicines this year. Sales have been growing at a compound annual rate of nearly 25% since 2009. Rising incomes and rapid ageing mean that demand for drugs should continue soaring. The expansion of publicly funded health insurance should also, in theory, bolster demand.