City bids to become biomedicine world leader

Shanghai issues 32 new measures that are aimed at encouraging innovation in drugs and medical instruments manufacture.

Shanghai has issued 32 new measures that will help it become a world leader in biomedicine, the city government said on Wednesday.

They include striving to raise the number of institutions carrying out clinical trials to more than 80 and gathering over 20 biomedical innovative research and development centers with international influence.

Efforts will be made to have more than 30 independent innovative drugs or medical instrument products with core technologies registered and declared every year. Offline procedures for drug approvals will be realized online while the management and services of the full life-cycle of drugs and medical instruments will be enhanced with hi-tech smart tools.

The city will support institutions from overseas to conduct clinical trials in Shanghai simultaneously with other countries. A clinical research ethics committee will be organized and the falsification of experimental data will be seriously punished.

The procedures required for drugs and medical instruments to enter the market will be accelerated, especially for those treating diseases such as AIDS, malignant tumors, serious infectious diseases, rare diseases and elderly or child diseases.

The management of traditional Chinese medicine in medical institutions will be improved and the city will push forward the setup of a set of international TCM standards.

Manufacturers of medical instruments used for rare diseases could have fewer or no clinical tests under certain circumstances to promote research and development as well as manufacturing.

Another measure encourages the setting up of a patent database for city's drug and medical instrument industries to protect their intellectual property.

Meanwhile, during a press conference at the expo, Meng Dongping, vice-president of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products, said that along with the rapid population growth, a series of serious social problems had emerged, including aging, changes in the disease spectrum and nutrient deficiencies.

"We have already imported western medicines from 96 countries and regions, but they are mainly from developed pharmaceutical countries like Europe, the United States, and Japan. And Europe is still the main importer of our western medicine products, followed by Asia and the Americas," she said. "Last year we had almost 70 percent of our imports from Europe."

According to Guo Shuting of the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration, preliminary surveys had shown that 70 percent of the medical equipment and health care exhibits were new products which have not yet been marketed in China. "Some of them are revolutionary, global new drugs, which are expected to be first launched in our country. For these innovative products, how to implement effective supervision is a problem we always need to pay close attention to," Guo said.

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