Jan 18, 2019 (China Knowledge) - British multinational pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca has signed an agreement with Chinese pharmaceutical firm Luye Pharma to obtain the exclusive rights for the latter’s Xuezhikang medicine in mainland China.
The agreement is regarded as a milestone for the pharmaceutical industry as it is the first time a global pharmaceutical firm has been authorized to promote a Chinese patent medicine independently developed by a Chinese company in the mainland.
Chinese patent medicines refer to traditional Chinese medicines that are manufactured in pill, liquid or capsule form. Xuezhikang itself is a blood lipid management drug that is used in China.
Luye Pharma and AstraZeneca are also considering to expand their partnership to overseas markets such as the U.S. and Europe.
The partnership signifies greater international recognition for Chinese patent medicines as drugs for disease treatment rather than as just healthcare supplements.
Despite this, there is still a long way to go for Chinese patent medicines to be recognized due to lack of awareness in other parts of the world and difficulty in registering such medicines under Western drug management registrations.
This is because Chinese patent medicines generally consist of many different chemicals and are difficult to analyze using Western-style research and development paradigms. Xuezhikang is an exception as the drug has been partially purified.
While the European Union has only recognized three Chinese patent medicines and the U.S. is yet to recognize any. Some countries such as Canada and Australia have already developed alternative registration systems for alternative treatments such as traditional Chinese medicines and have successfully registered and launched numerous Chinese patent medicines.
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