Great Wall ChinaCPhI & P-MEC China – organised by UBM EMEA and UBM SINOEXPO – returns for its 17th edition to the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) in Shanghai, China (20–22 June 2017).

The detailed pilot plan for the Marketing Authorisation Holder (MAH) system is a revolutionary process in the development of biopharmaceutical innovation in the country.

The new system allows the license holders of a drug to sell in China using a contract manufacturer, instead of manufacturing the drug themselves. This makes it easier for the growing number of Chinese biotech’s to progress their own products through clinical development; they are no longer required to invest in their own manufacturing facilities.

However, it also means that foreign drug license holders can now use contract facilities in China, providing much easier access to the market. This year, with the MAH now under way, it is perhaps unsurprising that the number of international attendees at CPhI China is expected to grow by 15% as they look to capitalise on the domestic market, which continues to grow at double digit pace.

China is a pharmerging giant, with around 6500 pharmaceutical manufacturing companies producing 1500 types of APIs, the biggest production being vitamins C and E, penicillin and paracetamol. In addition, there are 16,000 medical device and equipment manufacturing companies, which produce about 3000 kinds of products such as MRI and CT scanners.

In the next 3–5 years, China’s healthcare market will grow at a rate of around 10% per year. The country’s 13th Five-year Plan is focused on advancing technology and upgrading product quality and policy to encourage development of international trade and investment. There is also an increasing importance in the biopharmaceutical industry and biosimilars.

Rutger Oudejans, Brand Director at CPhI for Asia and North America, commented: “This is an incredibly exciting time for the region as we celebrate the continuous development of the Chinese pharma market, which has full government support. With the MAH pilot, there is much increased international interest as China’s pharma market is now much more accessible to foreign pharma companies, and the country’s growth potential remains unquestionably strong.”

For international pharmaceutical companies, there are a number of immediate strategies being taken. These include acquiring or merging with local manufacturing companies, securing a network of distributors in localities, targeting the emerging biological markets, moving R&D facilities to China, making long term investments and cementing China as an integral part of a company’s global strategy.

These favourable macro trends are reflected at CPhI China 2017, where international companies are attending in large numbers with the aim of opening up domestic sales. As the biggest event in Asia, CPhI China returns in 2017 with the launch of China Pharma Week (19 – 23 June 2017), a five-day event centred around six pillars: Leadership, Business, Networking, Recognition, Knowledge and Innovation.

This year, the event, along with HI China, will bring together more than 40,000 attendees from over 120 countries – 20% of which are international, from countries including Germany, USA, Netherlands, Italy, India, Korea and Japan.

“CPhI China is a great way to tap into and connect with potential suppliers from all over the world. Aside from networking with existing suppliers, it provides an opportunity to learn new things about the ever changing pharma and food markets,” said  Edward Kratzer, Business Development Manager, GDL Capsule Phils, Inc.