Invented (not Made) in China, there’s a big difference

Pop quiz: When was the last time China produced a new drug for the global pharmaceutical industry? The answer: The early 1970s. The product was artemisinin and it treated malaria. Times, they are a changin’. According to a New York Times article, “20 or 30 Chinese-made drugs could seek Phase 3 trials in the United States within the next five years.”  If you think about the R&D and early clinical development needed to get ~25 compounds into Phase III, you can see that Chinese drug developers have been working hard for a while. A little perspective: Jiangsu Hengrui has the largest research budget of all Chinese drug firms, but its $180M annual outlay pales in comparison with the $7.8B Pfizer spent in 2016. True, but a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (and other deep thoughts from Lao-Tzu).