For Drug Makers, China Becomes a Perilous Market


Global drug companies now employ more sales people in China than they do in the United States, their largest market. Several, including Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, are making huge scientific investments in the country, including building research and development centers. Within the next few years, China is poised to surpass Japan as the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market.

The booming Chinese demand for drugs couldn’t come at a better time for Western manufacturers, whose sales have been slumping because of patent expirations in the United States and stringent price controls in Europe.

But selling pharmaceuticals and other health care products in China is increasingly fraught with peril, as shown by allegations in China this week that GlaxoSmithKline funneled payments through travel agents to doctors, hospitals and government officials to bolster drug sales in the country….

Click here to read more