Country Report: China - Pharmaceutical Executive


Country Report: China
The Long March Marches Onward

Pharmaceutical Executive


From left: James Zhao, Managing Partner, Vivo Ventures; Qiyu Chen, Chairman of Fosun Pharma; Henry Sun, President of Tasly Pharmaceuticals
For a last look at the sector, two of its shining stars explain the mindsets behind their approach, and give a brief slice of advice for future collaborators and competitors.

Fosun Pharma is the pharmaceutical subsidiary of the multi-billion dollar industrial conglomerate, whose interests run as diverse as steel and real estate. As an integrated company with operations from API to finished products, distribution, medical devices, and retail, the group is famous in China for its entrepreneurial spirit, and the slogan of "Cultivation, Teamwork, Performance and Contribution to the Society".

Qiyu Chen, the company's chairman, admits this success is not always translatable. "It is hard to explain this to foreigners," Chen says, "because it is one of [China's] core cultural values. In ancient times, scholars who have strong ambition abided by these values. For Fosun, I think we should put our eyes on stability, self-discipline and environmental protection. We should make a difference and contribute to the whole society. The result of our contribution should be measured by some statistics, but we should always bear in mind that we should be grateful to the society however big our contribution is and however the business scale is."

Some humble values, echoed by another industry leader, Dr. Henry Sun, the president of Tasly Pharmaceuticals, China's TCM leader – and if upcoming phase III FDA trials of its flagship angina drug are successful, possibly the world's. "For foreign companies to penetrate the China market, it's the same as Chinese companies going global: you have to have local experience," Dr. Sun says. He extols the common view of partnerships and long-term relations, and how one might choose Tasly as a jumping off point. "Tasly, with almost 10,000 employees in China, is well-equipped to help out," he says, with benefits accruing not only to potential Western partners, but to bring better medicine and more options to Chinese patients. "And that's good for everybody," Dr. Sun notes. In this vein. He concludes by predicting that TCM, some day, will become a vehicle for cultural understanding and exchange. "When people more and more know your product, they will be interested to know your culture and background. As I have described here today, TCM history can be related in an engaging story. Such cultural exchange will bring people tighter together, and bring more peace to the world," Dr. Sun concludes.

Erratum: in our Singapore report published in January, it should have read that Keat Chuan Yeoh is the Managing Director of the Singapore Economic Development Board


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