In China, many patients resort to unconventional means of receiving treatment for their diseases, like going abroad or relying on surrogate shoppers. According to a New York Times article, in 2017, approximately 600,000 Chinese patients travel abroad to receive medical treatment.1 Although China's review and approval process of drugs has been significantly accelerated after years of reform, certain aspects of China's medical industry still prevent some foreign drugs from reaching the market. For instance, the government's regulation on drug's pricing, the Chinese market's complexity due to the diverse population and vast territory, and the uncertainty of competition from similar products all are able to deter small to middle-sized pharmaceutical companies from investing capitals and conducting clinical trials in China.
In recent years, China has set up several special zones that enjoy certain privileges in the medical industry. The future of market entry of foreign drugs looks promising as the Chinese government continues to implement policies that are friendly to foreign pharmaceutical companies and their products.