L.E.K. Consulting and AmCham Shanghai launched the first Government Policy Support (GPS) program focusing on healthcare sector in May, with Stephen Sunderland, Partner of L.E.K., leading a roundtable discussion on Healthcare Innovation in the context of Made in China 2025.
Around 20 senior healthcare industry leaders attended the session exchanging perspectives and insights on China’s aspiration to upgrade its indigenous biopharma and medical device industry.
Some key takeaways from the roundtable:
- As is becoming clear, Made in China has objectives and implications extending far beyond localization of manufacturing
- Official and unofficial guidance to ‘buy local’ is typically a significant driver of product selection in hospitals, especially in lower tier settings which are a key source of growth in the market
- China biopharmaceutical innovation capability is growing rapidly in some segments (e.g., CAR-T), but will take time to become internationally competitive across the board
- The continuous policy reforms and increased government investment are driving foreign-owned businesses to re-evaluate their innovation strategies for China. Leading MNCs have been actively shifting their innovation approaches, some externalizing innovation, some reconfiguring
- MNCs considering partnerships with China’s market participants need to carefully consider the critical trade-offs between control and scale of opportunity
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