China Continues to Attract Biopharma

Cold Chain IQ

Industry experts predict the biggest growth in temperature controlled pharmaceutical shipments will come from emerging markets. Much of this expected growth is attributed to China's growing importance in the global pharmaceutical industry.

As more companies are attracted to the market, by next year China is expected to be the third largest pharmaceutical market in the world, with an estimated growth rate of 20% per year through 2010-2015.

According to Alen Yan, General Manager for World Courier, the costs of drug development can be just 10 per cent of the price it would be in the West.

Steve Huang, Managing Director, DHL Global Forwarding China, said: "The Life Science and healthcare industry in China holds its own despite the global economic crisis. We are optimistic that this sector will continue to offer promising growth."

China has proved to be attractive for investors with an influx of biopharmaceutical companies and global logistics providers in the past few years.

Just a few months ago DHL opened its biggest Asian hub in Shanghai, together with its four express hubs in the Asia-Pacific - Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore. DHL plans to use the $175 million Shanghai-based hub to better tap into China's growing demand for logistics services.

"Opening the new hub today shows how we are confident in the development in China...and this reinforces our commitment to the logistics business," said CEO Frank Appel.
However hurdles for those working in the temperature controlled supply chain still exist, and over one third of professionals 35% who took part in a live polling session at IQPC’s 11th Cool Chain Logistics Europe in February 2012 think China will not only present the greatest business opportunities for cold chain distribution in the BRIC countries, but also the greatest challenges.

A significant number of the survey respondents – over 41% selected China as the BRIC economy which had the most opportunity for their business, followed by Brazil and Russia both with 17% and India with 14%.

A presence in China is a must for most players in the pharmaceutical industry, however "this growth requires a supporting infrastructure which allows pharmaceutical companies to transport drugs and related equipment in a safe, timely and cost-effective manner" said Cold Chain IQ in Cold Chain Management in China. An effective risk management strategy to protect the supply chain and skilled professionals with local knowledge of the market is also important to maintain business relationships and deal with issues that might arise in real-time.

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