As shown by the data, the amount of import and export of Chinese medicines & health products exceeded USD100 billion in 2015 reaching USD102.6 billion, growing by 4.73% year on year, wherein, the amount of export was USD56.4 billion, growing by 2.70%, and amount of import was USD46.2 billion, growing by 7.32%: the foreign trade surplus was USD10.2 billion, down by 13.99%.
Viewed from the whole year, the situation of low speed growth of the global economy did not change significantly, with the developed economies slowly recovering and the developing economies growing slowly. Chinese pharmaceutical trade has stepped into the new normal state of low speed growth, with growth in pharmaceutical export continuing to fall, as affected by insufficient international market demand, increased influence of the exchange rate factor on pharmaceutical export, and increased export prices due to environmental protection cost, and transfer of manufacturing industry, etc.
Dr. Xu Ming, Vice President of CCCMHPIE told the reporter, “Viewed from the segments, 2015 pharmaceutical foreign trade mainly manifested as: weak API export, strong biopharmaceutical import; plant extracts in TCM export significantly becoming stronger, decline in both import and export of traditional Chinese medicinal materials and decoction pieces; further optimization of structure of medical device export, with strengthened tension in transformation.”
Taking the traditional chemical API field as an example: the operating cost of API enterprises continued to rise in 2015 due to increased pressure in environmental protection cost and no reduce in the human cost in China; the original profit margin of low value-added products such as bulk APIs was limited, and the rise in the cost drove the rise in the export prices.
According to statistics, the growing environmental protection cost has continued to push the export prices of APIs, with the average export price of the most typical antibiotic products growing by 1.62%, wherein, lincomycin and chloramphenicol antibiotics had the biggest rise in the average price, separately growing by 34.2% and 21.2%.
In the meantime, shuffle of bulk pharmaceutical export varieties accelerated, and the export was gradually concentrated to enterprises above designated size to form the situation of a small amount of enterprises sharing the market. As for products having experienced many rounds of market impact such as vitamin C and vitamin B1, major manufacturing enterprises were basically fixed to 3 or 4, with stable market pattern.
On the other hand, medical device market presented the phenomena of stable market development and rapid replacement by Chinese products.
The 2015 global pharmaceutical market size (excluding medical devices) was about USD1.0688 trillion, with the size of medical device market of about USD350 billion, as shown by the analytical data of CCCMHPIE. Global pharmaceutical sales will maintain 4%-7% growth in the next 5 years, and the medical device market will maintain growth of above 8%.
There are more than 16,000 medical device enterprises in China, wherein, 90% had sales of less than RMB20 million. In other words, there are a large amount of small and medium-sized enterprises and the industry concentrated space is large, however, leading enterprises such as Neusoft, Mindray and Edan also have begun to appear rapidly.
And the healthcare field, having been popular in the capital market, presented the same characteristics in China.
The pharmaceutical investment field became more active in 2015, and the forms of Chinese enterprises in participating in international investment and cooperation also became more diversified. Hepalink invested in Canada ResverlogixCorp. (RVX) in April 2015, the latter being a R&D company developing new drugs for treating cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. In August 2015, Hepalink USA bought out Cytovance Biologics with USD205.68 million; in May 2015, Fosun Pharma together with China Everbright Limited and Wuxi AppTec bought out AmbrxInc - an American company which is dedicated to the discovery and R&D of innovative and cutting-edge protein drugs.