(Yicai Global) July 20 -- China's first union for pharmaceutical manufacturers of drugs in short supply has formed in Shanghai to ease a national scarcity of essential medicines.
Shanghai Xinyi Pharma and Zhejiang Jiuzhou Pharma are among the first 24 direct members of the union, state-owned Xinhua News Agency reported. The alliance aims to guarantee the supply of 57 drug types used to treat rare cardiovascular, metabolic and blood diseases, among others, by sharing information and resources.
"The supply of such drugs is intermittent or even interrupted, which has becoming a sticking point for many clinicians and patients," said Zhang Jianming, a deputy director at the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization. There has long been a shortage of drugs for uncommon diseases in China, and manufacturers are less inclined to produce the medicines because there is little demand and margins are low, he added.
In order to address the issue, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology teamed up with three other departments to encourage firms to build production lines for the medicines at the beginning of this year. It hopes to centralize production of 100 types of low-demand drugs by 2020.
Editor: James Boynton