Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on May 26, 2006
For a change, some good medical news to report from China. Lately the country has been rocked by scandals, with several cases of fake or faulty drugs getting surprisingly big headlines in the official press. But there are lots of honest doctors in China doing first-class research. Today, they got a boost as European drugmaker AstraZeneca announced that it plans to invest $100 million to expand R&D in China over the next three years. In a press release, CEO David Brennan gushes about China’s commitment to upgrading its pharma industry: “AstraZeneca welcomes and supports the Chinese government’s continuing policy to recognize investment in knowledge transfer and R&D innovation by strengthening IP protection, and ensuring timely market access for Chinese patients to innovative products, at prices which recognise the value of innovation.”
Especially interesting is AstraZeneca’s plan to focus first on cancer research. As China’s economy grows and people grow wealthier, more and more Chinese are dying from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and strokes - i.e. the sorts of things that Americans die from. The government in Beijing as a result is paying more attention to cancer research. With China now joining the war on cancer, the result might be saved lives in China and in the rest of the world too.