(Yicai Global) June 21 -- German pharma giant the Merck Group has penned a deal with an Alibaba Group Holding unit to track drug distribution and offer online medical services.
Alibaba Health Information Technology will add some of Merck's leading drugs for diabetes and thyroid and cardiovascular diseases to its drug tracking platform, Alibaba said in a statement yesterday. Consumers will be able to use Alibaba's Taobao or Alipay apps to check the medicine's origins and dosage recommendations.
The apps will also offer reminders to ensure patients do not forget to take their medicine, making prescriptions more effective and keeping buyers engaged with the platforms.
"Our mission is to transform the lives of 40 million patients in China by 2025, and digitalization will play a vital role in helping us to achieve that aim," said Rogier Janssens, General Manager of Merck's biopharma unit in China. "By combining Merck's expertise and rich knowledge in fields such as chronic disease, fertility and oncology, with Alibaba Health's cutting-edge technology and technical expertise, today's agreement will effectively improve disease awareness and health management of patients in China via advanced internet approaches."
The partnership with Merck, the world's oldest pharma company, is not Alibaba Health's first tie up with some of the sector's global leaders. It already has ties with GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer and Merck & Co., a former Merck Group subsidiary and now an independent company.
"China is experiencing a profound Internet transformation where the Internet will penetrate every stage of industrial production, business operations and people's daily lives," said Alibaba Health's chief executive Leo Shen (Shen Difan). "Given the uniqueness and importance of the healthcare industry, the integration of internet and traditional medical and healthcare industries also needs to be driven by industry leaders."
Editor: James Boynton