PhRMA takes U.S. pharmaceutical message abroad

April 1, 1998

Pharmaceutical Representative

BEIJING - Chinese officials and Sidney Taurel, chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, met to discuss ways that China can provide better, more affordable health care for its people.

BEIJING - Chinese officials and Sidney Taurel, chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, met to discuss ways that China can provide better, more affordable health care for its people.

During the February meetings, Taurel stressed that American manufacturers are committed to helping the Chinese improve their use of pharmaceuticals. As an example of this commitment, he pointed out that 12 international pharmaceutical companies have invested a total of approximately $1 billion in ventures in China and have employed more than 10,000 Chinese employees.

Greater, more consistent use of pharmaceuticals could save and improve Chinese lives, Taurel said.

American pharmaceutical companies are intrigued by the growth potential of the Chinese pharmaceutical market. Since 1994, that market has leapfrogged from $2.81 billion to an estimated $6 billion in 1998, according to Mark Grayson, senior director of communications for PhRMA. The global pharmaceutical market is estimated at around $300 billion, with the United States accounting for about $80 to $90 billion of that figure.

Enforcing three policies, in particular, would help China make the most of its pharmaceutical use, Taurel said. The Chinese need to streamline regulations to make medicines available more quickly; set a standard of strong intellectual property protection to encourage innovation; and ensure that pricing and usage of pharmaceuticals are based on their value to patients and payers, rather than on arbitrary mechanisms.

Taurel shared the health care lessons learned in the United States.

"Our experience with controls of pharmaceutical usage is very simple," he said. "These mechanisms do not work. In the near term, they lead to higher total health care costs and compromise the quality of care. In the long term, they discourage the pharmaceutical innovations that can provide even more medical value to patients, and economic value to payers." PR