Clara Gillispie
The National Bureau of Asian Research

The Globalization of China's Life Science Sector

Over the past decade, China’s influence in the global life science sector has expanded significantly. China now has numerous life science companies that serve its domestic market, providing greater access to medical products and facilitating the development of the country’s first WHO-prequalified vaccine. These advances have paved the way for China’s pharmaceutical companies to make critical innovations available internationally.

At the same time, government policies to bolster this sector represent a departure from international norms, with strong implications for the entire system of market- and rules-based globalization. This departure has major implications that guide how innovative molecules will be developed for the domestic Chinese market, as well as opportunities to export Chinese-made pharmaceuticals.

With this in mind, this initiative examines China’s evolving life sciences sector and the implications for innovation and international harmonization around drug approvals, clinical trials, and market regulations. It also analyzes the broader impact that the evolution of China’s life science sector will have on U.S.-China relations. In so doing, it will capture the concerns of life science innovators in China&mash;including both Western industry, research, and government leaders, as well as Chinese industry, research, and policy leaders.

Over the course of 2014–16, NBR commissioned research with leading scholars across the globe; convening ongoing dialogues with representatives from industry, policy, and research; and holding a series of private briefings for key policy and life science leaders in the United States and China.