written on 26.03.2019

Pharmaceutical Innovation for a Healthier China: 2nd International Pharmaceutical Innovation Forum held in Beijing

(Beijing, March 26, 2019) Today, key stakeholders and thought leaders in the pharmaceutical industry gathered in Beijing for the 2nd International Pharmaceutical Innovation Forum (IPIF19). As the R&D-based Pharmaceutical Association Committee (RDPAC)’s flagship event, IPIF19 was designed to bring all stakeholders for joint dialogue and international exchange. Global and domestic industry leaders, senior government officials, top scientists and researchers, renowned medical experts, industry association leaders, and the CEOs of seven global pharmaceutical companies—Sanofi, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, UCB, and Leo Pharma—the day’s conversations highlighted the growing importance of joint efforts to develop an ecosystem for innovation and a healthier future. To affirm their commitment to collaboration, 14 domestic and international associations and organizations signed “Innovation Declaration” as part of the day’s activities.

IPIF19 was hosted by the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment (CAEFI), organized by the R&D-based Pharmaceutical Association Committee (RDPAC), supported by the China Centre for Food and Drug International Exchange (CCFDIE) and the Chinese Hospital Association (CHA), and academically supported by China Pharmaceutical University and Tsinghua University. The forum consisted of a full day of panels and keynote speeches that address important issues involving the development of China’s pharmaceutical innovation ecosystem, and focused on five key issues: building an international pharmaceutical R&D ecosystem in China, advancing regulatory science to promote pharmaceutical innovation and improve drug quality, strengthening patient-centric ethics and industry compliance, meeting unmet clinical needs through improving accessibility to innovative drugs, and using digital healthcare to power the development of the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare system.

“China has made great improvements to the healthcare policy environment in the past several years, particularly by accelerating the review and approval system for drugs and medical devices, and by improving the scope and quality of medical insurance. China has also seen a significant increase in patient accessibility to innovative drugs and rapid development in pharmaceutical innovation,” said RDPAC chairman Asgar Rangoonwala. “RDPAC hopes this forum will serve to further energize pharmaceutical discovery in China, enabling Chinese people to more quickly benefit from innovative drugs and make significant steps towards realizing the ‘Healthy China 2030’ plan.” 

“Innovation drives health and benefits patients. In the past 100 years, we have seen numerous examples. For instance, the discovery of antibiotics has dramatically reduced the mortality rate of infectious diseases, while the continual evolution of oncology therapies has led to encouraging progress in the battle against cancer. These and other tremendous achievements have significantly increased our health and longevity and led to social and economic prosperity,” said Ms. Kang Wei, Managing Director of RDPAC. “We should recognize that medical innovation is the foundation upon which human beings will overcome disease and the driving force behind improving medical system efficiency, reducing costs, and improving people’s wellbeing. Innovative solutions for unmet medical needs are always at the heart of what we do. Because innovation does not have boundaries, going forward, we believe that China will establish systems and policies that strengthen China’s status as a global center for innovative healthcare products, and facilitate bringing novel medicines and treatments to China and sending innovative Chinese products to patients around the world.”

In R&D centres across the globe, tens of thousands of researchers at RDPAC’s 42 member companies are working to find breakthrough therapies that address the health challenges of patients in China and around the world. RDPAC member companies have paid close attention to the development of China’s pharmaceutical innovation and healthcare industry, setting up 31 R&D centres in China and investing RMB 9 billion each year in medical innovation.

“We are honoured to establish a platform that serves as a catalyst for meaningful dialogue to drive forward pharmaceutical innovation in China and the creation of a more patient-centric healthcare system,” said Rangoonwala. “Similar to the first IPIF in 2017, we sincerely hope this forum will be another important milestone in China’s road to a stronger pharmaceutical innovation ecosystem. Moreover, as we plan to host IPIF biennially, I look forward to the insightful discussions that will take place at the next forum in 2021.”


Under the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment (CAEFI), the R&D-based Pharmaceutical Association Committee (RDPAC) is a non-profit organization made up of 42 member companies with pharmaceutical R&D capability that together invest an annual total of RMB 9 billion into pharmaceutical innovation. RDPAC members have established up to 49 manufacturing facilities and 31 R&D centers in China so far. Holding the idea of “Healthier China through Innovation”, RDPAC committed to be a valued partner in delivering the “Healthy China 2030” plan to improve the health and quality of life of people in China. RDPAC is member of International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA).

About IPIF

IPIF is a bi-annual international conference initiated by RDPAC in 2017. It is designed to be a premier and inclusive platform for high-level dialogue and collaboration among international leaders from across the healthcare innovation ecosystem with a shared goal of accelerating world-class innovation in China to better serve patient needs around the world. The IPIF17 in Nanjing brought together more than 500 Chinese and foreign experts from government, industry, academia and non-profit organizations and announced the Declaration for Pharmaceutical Innovation by 10 associations.