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诺华CEO:投资中国医疗产业正当其时

江慕忠 2017年04月06日

尽管经济整体放缓,中国仍然是一个重要的增长市场,尤其是在医疗行业。

 

 

 

过去几个月里,不少经济学家和投资人都对中国经济的健康水平表示了置疑。虽然过去十年间,中国一直是全球经济的火车头,也保持了很高的GDP增长率,但近年来中国的经济增长却有所放缓。去年,中国的GDP增长率为6.7%,为过去26年来的最低水平。展望未来,有人担心中国经济放缓很可能将成为一种长期趋势,而不是短期现象。

然而我认为,中国仍然是一个重要的增长市场,尤其是在医疗行业。我刚刚在北京参加了中国发展论坛,期间有多场讨论都围绕着中国的经济发展前景展开,而医疗产业则更是被提到了对经济发展十分重要的位置。今年一月,中国国家主席习近平在参加世界经济论坛时,也谈到了创新对经济发展的重要性,并提出传统和新兴行业都要推动创新型增长。

如今,中国已经成为继美国后全球第二大医药市场。到2020年,中国医药市场的市值预计将达到3150亿美元。这是因为中国和其他国家一样,也面临着人口老龄化以及随而之来的慢性病患者群体日益增长的问题。到2050年,中国65岁以上的人口将超过3.29亿人,这个数字比德法日英四国的人口总和还要多。中国15%的女性和10%的男性都存在体重超重的问题,因此中国也成了体重超标人口最多的国家。另外中国还有1亿糖尿病患者,比世界上任何国家都要庞大。2015年,中国新增癌症患者的人数为430万人,占全球的两成。

为了应对日益增长的医疗需求,过去十年中,中国政府也对医疗体系进行了大力改革。目前中国已有95%的人口纳入了医保体系。去年中国政府通过了建国以来医疗产业的首个长远战略规划——《健康中国2030规划纲要》。《纲要》提出要大力发展中国的医疗产业,使之成为国民经济的中流砥柱。除了引导国民关注疾病预防和倡导健康的生活方式,《纲要》还提出要加快创新,使中国成为先进医疗技术研究的前沿阵地。今年,中国又将300种药品纳入了医保清单。就在上周五,中国食品药品监督管理局还发布了一批新政策,不再要求国内申报审批的新药必须处于II期测试阶段或是已在境外获得审批,对在中国境内组织的临床研究方面的限制也将放宽。另外,中国药监局还计划在年底前开通新药电子申报服务。这些改革都有助于加快新药进入中国市场的速度。

另一个积极迹象是中国的人才水平的提高。据麦肯锡公司的一份报告显示,2016年,中国的理工科毕业生达到了470万人,而同年美国的理工科毕业生只有56.8万人。每年中国还有近3万人获得理工科博士学位。另外,中国还在科学领域创造了多个第一。我们在中国研发的第一款新药MAK683(是一种专门治疗鼻咽癌的遗传信息药物,该病在中国的发病率远远高于其他国家)已经进入了I期临床试验。

在诺华公司,我们发现中国存在着广阔的创新机会,而我们的投资也反映了我们对中国中长期发展的信心。十年前,诺华在中国建立了第一个研究中心,迄今为止,我们已经对该中心投资了10亿美元。可以说它是一个专门为中国建立的研发中心,有数百名科学家在那里专门探索中国人民高发疾病的新型疗法。除了研发中心以外,我们在中国还建立了生产工厂和多样化的业务组合,包含了创新药物、护眼产品和仿制药等多个业务领域。我们还与新疆维吾尔自治区政府展开了合作,帮助这个医疗资源不足的省份培训医疗工作者。其他公司也意识到了投资中国市场的必要性。比如苹果公司最近宣布,要在中国投资5亿美元建立新的研究中心。

展望未来,中国的医疗产业仍然有着广阔的创新领域,比如在移动医疗方面。中国目前约有7亿网民,其中86%的人能通过手机上网。虽然过去几年,市场对移动医疗领域的投资已经很多了,阿里巴巴和百度等互联网公司也都在探索虚拟医生和在线药房等服务,但这个领域的进展仍然相对缓慢,且有很大的提升空间。数字医疗是未来几年里中国医疗市场上很值得关注的一个领域。

中国作为一个坚实的市场,我对它的投资和发展前景感到很乐观。中国有基础设施,有人才,有政府的支持,还有很高的医疗需求,它必将成为一个繁荣的医疗创新市场。中国医疗产业的持续发展也将吸引大量外资,并创造无数就业机会,同时必将改善上亿人的健康水平。未来,诺华将继续通过不断创新,改善和延长更多中国患者的生命。(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

Over the last several months, some economists and investors have questioned the health of the Chinese economy. Although China has been a driving economic force for the last decade with significant annual increases in GDP, growth has slowed. Last year, China’s GDP grew 6.7%, the slowest in 26 years. Looking to the future, some question if a slowdown in China’s growth will be a long-term trend, not a short-term exception.

However, I see China as an important market for growth, particularly when it comes to the healthcare industry. I was just in Beijing for the China Development Forum, where multiple discussions centered on opportunities for economic growth, with healthcare as an industry high on the agenda for continued development. This reinforces President Xi Jinping’s remarks at the World Economic Forum in January , where he talked about the importance of innovation for economic growth, and committed to innovation-driven development in both traditional and emerging industries.

Today, China is the second largest pharmaceutical market in the world after the US , and its value is estimated to reach $315 billion in 2020. This is being driven by the enormous medical need in China, which – just like in other countries – is stemming from an aging population and an increase in chronic conditions. The number of people in China over age 65 is estimated to rise to more than 329 million in 2050, a figure that is more than the entire population of Germany, France, Japan and Britain combined. Almost 15% of women and 10% of men in China are overweight, making it the population with the largest number of overweight people in the world. China also has 100 million diabetics, a number higher than in any other nation. It also accounted for 20% of the world’s new cancer cases in 2015, with 4.3 million.

In response to these growing medical needs, the Chinese government has rolled out significant reforms to its healthcare system over the last decade. Today, over 95% of China’s population has access to health insurance. Last year, the Chinese government approved its Healthy China 2030 Planning Outline, the first long-term strategic plan for the country’s health sector since 1949. The plan aims to significantly expand China’s health industry, making it a mainstay of the national economy. In addition to focusing on prevention through healthy lifestyles, the plan aims to accelerate innovation, bringing China to the forefront of cutting-edge medical research. This year, China added 300 drugs to its national reimbursed drug list. Last Friday, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) proposed new policies that would no longer require drugs submitted for approval in China to either be in at least Phase II development or already approved outside of China. The requirement to conduct China-specific clinical studies in order to gain an approval would also be eased. In addition, the CFDA now plans to enable digital filings for new drug applications by the end of this year. These reforms are expected to help speed the entry of new drugs to the Chinese market.

Another positive sign is the level of talent in China, which is rising. In 2016, China had 4.7 million new STEM graduates – by comparison, the US had 568,000. And nearly 30,000 students in China earn PhDs in science and engineering each year, according to a 2016 McKinsey & Co report. China has also rolled out some impressive firsts in science. In addition, our first drug discovered in China, MAK683 (an epigenetic drug for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, which is more prevalent in China than elsewhere), has entered Phase I clinical trials.

At Novartis, we see great opportunities for innovation in China, and our investments reflect our confidence and commitment for the long-term. We first opened our research center in Shanghai 10 years ago, and have invested $ 1 billion to make it state-of-the-art. It’s a true discovery center for China, with hundreds of scientists working to find new therapies for diseases that primarily affect the Chinese people. In addition to our R&D operations in China, we also have manufacturing facilities and a diversified business portfolio, covering innovative medicines, eye care and generics. We’re also working with the local government in Xinjiang, a province with 23 million people and limited healthcare access, to train healthcare workers. Other companies are realizing the need to invest in China. For example, Apple (aapl) just announced plans to invest $ 500 million in new research centers in the market.

Looking to the future, there is also great opportunity for innovation in new areas of healthcare in China, such as mHealth. An estimated 700 million people in China have access to the internet, and the vast majority of them – 86% – can connect through their phones. While there has been a lot of investment in the mHealth space over the last several years, with companies like Alibaba and Baidu exploring services such as virtual physician consultations and online pharmacies, uptake has been slow and there is room for improvement. Digital health is an area to watch in the years ahead.

I’m optimistic about China as a strong market for investment and future growth, particularly for healthcare. China has the infrastructure, the talent, and government support – as well as high medical need – to be a thriving market for healthcare innovation. Continued development of the industry can also attract foreign investment and create jobs, while improving the health of millions of people. We, at Novartis, look forward to working to deliver new innovations that will improve and extend the lives of many more Chinese patients in the years ahead.


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