New drugs developed by pharmaceutical companies from the United States have played an important role in improving healthcare for Chinese, according to China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment.
International pharmaceutical companies, including those from the U.S., have kept investing in research and development of new drugs in China, which has also contributed to improved innovation and research capabilities for domestic pharmaceutical companies, said Zuo Yuzeng, chief for communications at the association's R& D-based Pharmaceutical Association Committee.
The committee is comprised of 40 international companies with pharmaceutical research and development capabilities, including 12 from the U.S., such as MSD and Xian Janssen, he said.
"The companies have brought many patent drugs to Chinese patients. Many were not available in China before, and have contributed to helping patients relieve pain and prolong life," the committee said.
A recent new drug that was introduced to China was Sirturo, developed by Xian Janssen Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary of U.S. company Johnson& Johnson.
The drug, the first new medication for tuberculosis worldwide for the past 45 years, has been administered in China since Feb 24, and initial results showed it is effective for patients with multidrug-resistant TB, according to Wang Bin, deputy head of disease control and prevention for the National Health Commission.
Asgar Rangoonwala, president of Xian Janssen, said the drug is now being used at 16 hospitals nationwide in a trial program.
In April, China Drug Administration approved a nine-way HPV vaccine, which works against up to nine types of HPV and was developed by U.S. company MSD. A similar vaccine, which was also developed by the company and works against four types of HPV, was approved by the administration in May last year.
Previously, no vaccines were available on the Chinese mainland to effectively prevent cervical cancer, the second most common cancer among Chinese women aged 15 to 44 after breast cancer, except a two-way HPV vaccine, driving many women to Hong Kong to receive such vaccines.
International pharmaceutical companies have also contributed to improved capacities in innovation and research of domestic companies through increasing research and development in China, partnering with domestic research institutes and providing training, according to R & D-based Pharmaceutical Association Committee.
"Some domestic international companies in recent years have been developing fast and they are catching up," said Zuo from the committee.