Author: Amanda Mao, PhD, CMPP

China's Four Key Health Care Areas

As a bilingual Chinese medical communications professional, I want to share with you some insights on the opportunities in China for Western life sciences companies.

In this article, I will discuss four areas where there is significant potential for growth and development.

Aged Care

With more than 200 million people over the age of 65, accounting for 14.2% of the total population (link in Chinese); China has a growing need for high-quality aged care. The newly retired generation is wealthier and more health-conscious than previous generations, leading to increased demand for better care.

Western companies with expertise in this area − such as food and nutrition, supplies, services and real estate specific to aged care needs − are presented with huge opportunities to provide innovative solutions to meet this demand.

Health Supplements

The Chinese population is wellness-driven, and the importance of good health has been further emphasized by the COVID-19 pandemic. The general consensus is that strong immunity can help prevent viruses, leading to increased demand for high-quality health supplements.

Australia is well-known for its green and clean health supplements and is the second-largest importer of health supplements to China after the US. The other top importing countries are Germany, Indonesia, and Japan. (link in Chinese)

Early-Phase Clinical Trials

The number of Chinese domestic biotech companies is increasing, and many of them want to play on the global stage. They not only want their drugs approved in China but also by the FDA and EMA.

With this welcoming trend, Australia can be attractive for Chinese biotech companies to conduct early-phase clinical trials, especially first-in-human and phase 1 clinical trials. The Australian government encourages this activity with a generous R&D tax incentive, and clinical trial data produced in Australia are accepted by the FDA and EMA as valid regulatory submission data. Additionally, Australia’s heterogeneous population makes bridging trials down the road easy.

Medical Publishing/Manuscript Writing Support

This is a huge untapped market targeting Chinese pharma. No doubt Australia can have more  MedComms agencies compared with our UK and US counterparts. MedComms agencies can help their clients − and in this case, Chinese pharma − produce high-quality manuscripts and conference materials in English, using the raw materials provided.

China has plenty of scholarly publishers, but the preference is always for English publications, especially in reputable and high-impact factor English journals. Chinese pharma and principal investigators continue to produce data, including in clinical trials and pre-clinical studies, but they desperately need help writing their discoveries accurately, concisely, and clearly in a compliant way, so the findings can be published in impactful English journals. They need help with medical writing on a native English level to transform a few hundred pages of a clinical study report into a 10-page manuscript, for example.

Western MedComms agencies have the expertise and capacity to help Chinese pharma with manuscript writing. Globally, there are at least 180 MedComms agencies.

Finding high-quality medical writing service providers is the No. 1 challenge (may need subscription to access link), say 71% of Chinese medical publication professionals who mostly work in global pharma China office, or Chinese local pharma.

And, 97% of the listed authors of the retracted paper mill publications were from Chinese institutions.

MedComms agencies are losing huge opportunities if they don’t work with Chinese pharma, who are looking for your expert services right now.

Wrapping up: Want to Start Working With Chinese Companies Now?

Western (and Australian) life sciences companies have significant opportunities in China in the areas of aged care, health supplements, early-phase clinical trials, and manuscript writing for medical publishing.

As a bilingual Chinese medical communications professional, I encourage you to consider these opportunities and explore how you can effectively work with Chinese companies in the life sciences industry.

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