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AstraZeneca to increase presence in China

Published on 19/09/18 at 11:05am

The Anglo-Swedish multinational AstraZeneca is moving towards becoming a major healthcare provider in China as part of an effort to expand the overall market and increase its share in the highly populous East Asian country.

The multibillion pound drugmaker is thus shifting away from simply supplying drugs as it ties in with Chinese tech companies such as Tencent and Alibaba. The partnerships are seen as a means through which the company can achieve “better utilisation of our drugs,” as Chief Executive Pascal Soirot said.

Meanwhile the pharmaceutical firm has become increasingly close with the Chinese government as it forges partnerships aimed towards increasing the speed at which drugs get to market.

However, although these partnerships are not necessarily drivers of growth in and of themselves, they will assist the pharma giant in increasing their soft power in the country.

In an interview with Reuters, Astra Zeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot commented: “Down the line we benefit, our products benefit, because we have better relationships with doctors and hospital managers and also because we diagnose more patients and they get better treated.”

With a population of 1.4 billion, China is the world’s second largest drug market and a particular point of focus for AstraZeneca. The company saw its sales grow by 30% in the last quarter of 2017, and expect to see similar levels of growth in coming years.

Louis Goss

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