Some pharma executives say there are plenty of opportunities to profit in China. While IMS has revised downward its original forecast of 20 percent revenue growth for Chinese pharmaceuticals this year, the firm still expects a 17 percent increase. With China’s aging population, growing wealth, and expanding health-care coverage, many long-term trends remain in the drug industry’s favor. “There is still the sheer volume of the Chinese market,” says Sanofi Chief Executive Officer Chris Viehbacher. That, he says, “is able to more than compensate” for government efforts to reduce prices.
The bottom line: Efforts to cut drug prices in China are hurting their manufacturers, but with the market growing 17 percent a year there’s still opportunity.