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Fast Facts

China offers the largest population in the world, rapid economic growth, and an increasing willingness by government to invest in research and development.

  • Relatively homogenous population (92% Han Chinese)
  • Over 750 global companies have research centers in China
  • Regulatory framework increasingly emulating the FDA structure, however involvement of multiple agencies still leads to long approval times
  • Government pledge to dedicate USD18 billion to emerging biotechnologies in latest five year plan

Health Trends

Total spend on pharmaceuticals expected to reach USD62.6 billion (10.2 billion on branded pharmaceuticals) by 2015.

Over 260 million Chinese are estimated to suffer from chronic diseases with this number expected to triple by 2030.  Hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS have also been increasing rapidly.  The neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric pharmaceutical markets are also likely to grow rapidly with only relatively recent medical recognition of CNS disorders in China.

High prevalence diseases include:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Heart disease

Clinical Trial Landscape

Largest clinical research market in Asia and 5th largest clinical research market in the world.

The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) is the main regulatory body in China.

Evaluation of biologics is stringent requiring assessment by and approved evaluation center.

The average timeline for regulatory approval is 8-10 and approval times for biologics can be longer.


Market Snapshot

1,356 million people

50.6% reside in urban centers

95.1% literacy rate

China population age breakdown for pharma companies thinking of using a clinical research organization
  • Novotech opened its first Chinese CRO office in 2014

Why choose China for clinical research?

There are many compelling reasons to consider contract research organizations in China for your clinical research:

  • World largest population
  • Increasingly important biopharmaceutical consumer market
  • Low operational costs
  • Strong government commitment to research and biopharmaceutical markets