China in talks with India to open pharma market

By Zhang Hui and Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/12 19:43:39

India's recent discussion with the Chinese government regarding mutual medicine trade was positive, and the country is confident that Indian medicines will be well received in China due to their high quality, the Embassy of India in China said.

The Chinese black comedy Dying to Survive, which hit Chinese theaters last Thursday, has triggered heated discussions on inexpensive Indian generic drug imports,  and both India and China are eyeing whether the mostly positive reception by viewers signals an opportunity for China to allow more Indian medicines to be imported into the country.

We are very happy to note that recently China has taken up many reforms in the pharmaceutical registration process and hopeful to have better access to Indian medicines in China, Sharique Badr, Second Secretary of the Embassy of India in Beijing, told the Global Time via email.

"With our best efforts we have been unable to export our pharma products in major quantities to China due to various reasons including difficulties in registration and procurement policies of various public hospitals making Indian pharma's access difficult. Our global exports of medicines are around $17 billion, but exports to China are very small at around $300 million," he said.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference on Monday that China and India are in sound communication on opening the Chinese market to drugs from India and conducting   cooperation between the two sides' pharmaceutical industries. Relevant departments have formulated specific measures on promoting China-India pharmaceutical trade cooperation and granting greater access to drugs from India, said Hua.

"India has adopted a different medicine detection system, therefore, it is a complicated procedure for China to test and import Indian medicines," Tian Guangqiang, assistant research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

China has kept a prudent attitude toward generic medicines as India's market is a place of both good and bad products mixed together, said Tian. He added that along with the deepening of bilateral trade on medicine, the two countries could formulate a mutually recognized detection system and encourage the cooperation of their pharmacy enterprises.

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