Navigating China with a trusted partner

china population 1.35 billion
recorded outpatient visits to government hospitals in 2011 2.20 billion
chinese pharmaceutical market’s worth in 2013 $76 billion

Home to more than 1.35 billion people or one-fifth of the world’s total population, China is a dream market for pharmaceuticals. In 2011, there were 2.2-billion recorded outpatient visits to China’s government hospitals1. In 2013, the Chinese pharmaceutical market was worth about USD76 billion. The market has expanded at 19% year on year during the past ten years and is expected to continue growing at a rate of almost 18% per annum throughout the remainder of the decade2. Currently China is the third largest pharmaceutical market in the world, expecting to overtake Japan and move into second place by 20163.

However, it is crucial to understand the external political, economical, regulatory, and socio-cultural environments when entering this market. Some of this information can be researched, while the rest can only be garnered through hands-on experience. Most notable are understandings of cross culture differences. Understanding the paradoxical and dynamic nature of Chinese culture and communication is the key to conducting successful business relationships in China4.

“Competitive advantage in the pharmaceutical industry is not only attributed to ownership of factories, global infrastructure and capital. In China’s market, what counts are channels, relationships, and partnerships built on trust, transparency and personal rapport.” – Zona Yim, Strategic Planning and Development Director, Health Vision Enterprise

The regulatory environment in China can be a major barrier to entry. Written guidelines offered are broad and general, and with the continual upgrading of policies, it is extremely difficult to navigate this area. Health Vision Enterprise dedicates a professional regulatory team that works closely with the various government authorities to keep abreast of the latest developments.

Physical distribution is a challenge when dealing with the socio-cultural environment in China. It is the third largest country in the world, roughly the size of the United States. Urbanisation has seen rapid growth with more than 50% of the country’s population now living in urban areas, and around one hundred and fifty cities having a population exceeding one million people. Imported branded pharmaceutical products traditionally focus on the urban population that are mostly located in and around the capital cities of each province. Health Vision Enterprise is able to reach over ten thousand hospitals, clinics, and drug stores in every province across China, including smaller cities and rural areas through our growing network that includes some of the country’s leading national distributors. Our own team alone directly markets to approximately two thousand targeted hospitals in about one hundred and fifty main cities in China.

We have the necessary skills and experience to launch your product from zero entry to market leader in the massive, yet complex China pharmaceutical industry. We strategically grow your business in China through brand cycle management, intellectual property protection, and developing trusted long term relationships with you. If they are looking for a company with entrepreneurial roots and visionary leadership, the obvious choice is Health Vision Enterprise. We have established long term partnerships with both family sized pharmaceutical companies as well as multinational companies overseas – privately owned and publicly listed. We understand the importance of forward planning to minimize variance, clear communication to avoid confusion, and good corporate governance to ensure compliance.

Please contact us to discuss any partnership or business opportunities. We look forward to hearing from you.

1 National Bureau of Statistics China. (2012). China Statistical Yearbook 2012. Beijing: China Statistics Press.

2 Gross, A. (2014, June 11). Market Access in China: Drug Listing, Bidding, Pricing and Reimbursement. Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.

3 Leung, P., Shieh, G., & Xu, E. (2014). Embracing China’s brave new pharmaceutical world. Shanghai: Bain & Company.

4 Fang, T. (2014). Understanding Chinese culture and communication: The Yin Yang approach. London: Palgrave Macmillan.