Disappearing Prescriptions: China Corruption Campaign Prompts Physician Caution
Costly Cancer Drug Use Under Scrutiny
While there are already restrictions on the prescribing of cancer drugs in China, oncologists in the world’s second-largest pharma market are also now being expected to strictly avoid off-label use, especially of costly imported therapies from multinationals.
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A plethora of new and revised regulations in China to regulate drug distribution and storage, the set up of new corporations, administrative appeals, as well as the export of gene editing technology, are set to come into effect in 2024, ushering in more challenges to pharma and life sciences companies operating in the country.
Using PD-1 immuno-oncology drugs to treat post-surgery gastric cancer and prescribing unapproved targeted therapies for colon cancer are just two examples of the apparently widespread misuse of oncology drugs in China, as alleged by an oncologist at a prestigious Peking university hospital.
Multiple factors were behind Merck & Co’s rise to ace AstraZeneca and others to become the leading pharma multinational in the world’s second-largest pharma market in 2023, including partnerships and competition and a strong position in the growing HPV vaccine sector.