In 2013, revenue in the China pharmaceutical manufacturing market is expected to total $96.5 billion, up 17.9% from 2012. This represents an annualized growth rate of 19.4% since 2008. The industry's profitability has also been increasing – from 10.3% of industry revenue in 2008 to 10.9% in 2013. There are about 1,390 industry enterprises in 2013, employing about 602,031 people with a payroll of about $5.8 billion.
Hospitals are currently the main distribution channel for medicines produced by this industry. However, upcoming healthcare reforms will enable drugstores to become the major distribution channel in the near future. In the past, many consumers could not afford to purchase medicine or see a doctor.
According to the Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2006 to 2010), the government amended the rebate practices of hospitals for pharmaceutical and medicine products to limit overcharging and price gouging of consumers. The government will continue to implement policies to restrict and decrease medicine prices, allowing more consumers to purchase medicine when required. As a result, industry revenue is forecast to increase at an annualized rate of 12.9% in the next five years to $177.2billion by 2018.
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