Leukemia ranks the sixth in China’s cancer mortality rate, and the first in morbidity and mortality among teenagers’ malignant tumors. People aged from 0 to 9 and over 60 are most vulnerable to leukemia.
Imatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor developed by Novartis. On May 10, 2001, Imatinib received FDA’s express approval for its “ground-breaking anti-tumor mechanism” in the trade name Gleevec. On Dec. 23, 2002, it was approved by the FDA to be used in first-line treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia. So far, its use in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia has been approved by over 80 countries in the world.
The annual sales value has been growing since Imatinib entered China on Apr. 17, 2002. It reached about CNY 700 million in 2017. At present, the Chinese Imatinib market is dominated by three enterprises’ products. As an imported product, Novartis’ Gleevec takes up the largest share.
According to CRI, the price of Gleevec is so high that it is beyond the affordability of many patients. There are three manufacturers of generic Imatinib in China. They are Chia Tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Hansoh Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and CSPC Zhongqi Pharmaceutical Technology Co., Ltd. The average price of China-made Imatinib is less than 10% of that of Gleevec. However, some hospitals are reluctant to recommend China-made Imatinib to patients because of its poor efficacy and low profitability. Therefore, Gleevec has the major market share of the Imatinib legally sold in China. In 2017, its market share was 81% by sales value and 31% by sales volume.
Despite its obvious curative effect, Imatinib is much more expensive than other drugs for chronic myeloid leukemia. Some low-income patients in China were prosecuted for purchasing smuggled India-made Imatinib whose price was only 5% or less of Gleevec’s price in China and lower than that of China-made generics. This case was even rearranged into movie Dying to Survivewhich has a happy ending that the low-income patients were offered free treatment. But this is not the case in China. More and more patients will be able to afford Imatinib with China’s economic development and residents’ increasing income and purchasing power. It is estimated that the Imatinib market will grow ever larger in China.
– Development environment of Imatinib in China
– Forecast on market size of Imatinib in China
– Market share of major Imatinib manufacturers in China
– Retail prices of Imatinib in China
– Development of generic Imatinib in China
– India-made Imatinib smuggled to China
– Prospects of Chinese Imatinib market, 2018-2022