Biomedical industry may shrink: expert

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Oct 09, 2013 - Page 13

The biomedical industry is likely to shrink as companies move their manufacturing and developing sectors to China in the near future to have access to a larger market, Academia Sinica president Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠) said yesterday.

Current regulations in China require companies to complete phase three clinical trials and manufacture their products in China before they can sell the drugs in that country, encouraging pharmaceutical companies to set up divisions in China, Wong said.

“The local pharmaceutical industry is likely to follow the footstep of the local electronics industry, with most companies making their products in China,” Wong said, adding that the electronics industry has declined fast in the past 10 years.

Beijing and Taiwan agreed in 2010 to coordinate drug standards on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Wong said Beijing had also expressed willingness to adopt a universal recognized standard, such as the International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use.

China would need to open its market by adopting a new standard, but the point is drugs approved by the Chinese government are likely to be accepted by Western countries, he said.

The government should expedite talks with China concerning setting up a drug application standard in accordance with the international practice, Wong said.