Novartis CEO Aims to Double China Sales on Faster Drug Approvals

by swisscham in Engineering, Manufacturing

New Novartis AG Chief Executive Officer Vas Narasimhan aims to more than double the pharmaceutical giantÕs sales in China over the next five years and gain faster reimbursement for cutting-edge cancer drugs as the country speeds up approvals. Novartis hopes to win a Òcouple ofÓ approvals for new medicines in 2018, Mr. Narasimhan said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Beijing. That follows agreements in China to pay for eight of its drugs. Talks with the Chinese regulator show the companyÕs ambition to accelerate the introduction of new technologies, such as CAR-T treatments for cancer. Global drug makers like Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis have benefited from a Chinese regulatory overhaul that has opened the market to a range of breakthrough therapies. Novartis is including China now in all late-stage trials on the back of regulatory changes that allow the company to get drugs to the market faster, Mr. Narasimhan said. The Swiss drugmaker last year filed for approval for 15 new products in China, which now accounts for about USD 2 billion in annual sales, he said.

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