"We are looking forward to continuing to partner with all stakeholders to help China successfully balance both innovation and access, modernize its biopharmaceutical sector, and build a vibrant life sciences sector that develops treatments and cures for China and the world."
Pfizer China has invested over US$1.5 billion in China to date and introduced over 50 drugs into the country. How important is China to the Pfizer group, and looking forward what is the company’s vision for its presence in this market?
Pfizer has a long-standing presence in China, and has maintained and substantially increased the size of our presence and our investments over the past 30 years. In fact, China is our largest Emerging Market (EM) and remains an attractive growth opportunity as it is still one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical markets in the world. We will continue to work in partnership with the Government to improve patient care in China and we support the Chinese government’s policies that encourage biopharmaceutical innovation, accelerate the approval process of new medicines, and enhance the quality of domestic generics to the international level. We are committed to supporting the Chinese government’s stated healthcare goals, including strengthening primary care health services and patient management for chronic diseases. Currently, we are focused on driving our legacy brands portfolio (specifically CV and AI portfolios) and exploring opportunities in the innovative portfolio and biosimilars, along with finding ways to expand reach to more patients, particularly across mid- and lower-tier cities, as well as the provinces.
Increasingly the Chinese government is putting pressure on companies to mitigate their environmental footprint. How does Pfizer China balance environmental responsibilities with achieving optimal operational efficiency?
At Pfizer, we take a collaborative, entrepreneurial approach to sustainability practices that produce measurable value for our business and society, and as such we are fully aligned with the Chinese government’s position on limiting the environmental impact caused by manufacturing activities. We aim to use our global presence and scale to address these issues and ultimately make a difference in local communities and the world. We believe that the path toward environmentally sound business practices begins with a better understanding of our environmental footprint, its impact, and how it is changing.
The last decade has seen an expansion of Pfizer China’s R&D activity. What has been the most critical driving forces pushing Pfizer and the nation to invest more in this area?
China has seen significant advances in healthcare reform such as the world’s largest medical insurance system, rural healthcare coverage, introduction of catastrophic disease insurance, regulatory and public hospital reforms and the recent update to the NRDL that will help increase patient access to quality medicines throughout China. We believe that two key priorities— access on one hand; and innovation and quality on the other— are both vital if China is to continue to make significant strides in the next 30 years in the area of health. We are glad to see that the Chinese authorities have recently issued a series of new policies to address this “drug lag”, such as encouraging international multi-centered clinical trial application and supporting simultaneous native and international clinical trials. We are looking forward to continuing to partner with all stakeholders to help China successfully balance both innovation and access, modernize its biopharmaceutical sector, and build a vibrant life sciences sector that develops treatments and cures for China and the world.
In early 2018, Pfizer China announced an investment in Chinese biotechnology company NetVation DL Medicine. What are the attributes you consider most critically when assessing potential partners in the Chinese biopharmaceutical space?
We could not advance the pursuit of our mission without partnering with equally dedicated individuals, which is why we are consistently exploring areas that fit our strategic goals that provide value to patients and shareholders. New target ideas and novel chemical matter are critical to our success in bringing new therapies to patients around the world. The collaboration with NetVation and other local partners in China represents Pfizer’s worldwide commitment to partnering with companies that are doing innovative scientific work to help enhance our portfolio across multiple disease areas.
Going forward, what is your outlook on the future of the country’s pharmaceutical industry and what steps is Pfizer China taking to ensure its clients and partners that its products meet the highest standards?
We place the utmost emphasis on patient safety and product quality at every step in the manufacturing and supply chain process. All Pfizer products released in the market meet every national and international testing specification. Through a global supply network, Pfizer ensures supply of quality products that potentially significantly improve patients' lives, and that these products are available whenever and wherever they are needed. Through consistent high standards for quality, compliance and supply reliability, and by delivering value without compromising quality or compliance, Pfizer's supply network provides fast, flexible solutions across the full manufacturing and supply chain spectrum and delivers safe, effective medicines around the world.