Healthcare and Life Sciences Talking Points | 21/06/2018

In Today’s Talking Points: Alibaba Health and Merck Pharmaceuticals Team Up to Improve China’s Healthcare Services; Johnson & Johnson Institute Launches in China; Australian Firms Eye China’s Healthcare Market; Australian Coalition Government Ministers Put Forward Energy Policies

Alibaba Health and Merck Pharmaceuticals Team Up to Improve China’s Healthcare Services

On Wednesday this week, Alibaba Health and Merck Pharmaceuticals signed a strategic partnership agreement to provide Chinese patients with better access to patient-centric healthcare services. Both sides have said that they will turn their focus to tracking and tracing drugs and internet health services along with joint exploration of pharmaceutical e-commerce and artificial intelligence. The collaboration will take parts of both companies’ specialties, using Alibaba Health’s drug-tracking platform and combining Merck’s expertise in diabetes and thyroid disorders to help ensure safety and security of pharmaceuticals usage. The partnership fits into China’s overall broad push for national medical reform and modernisation with a focus on technological innovation, using the internet to speed up the process.

Read more on Alibaba

Johnson & Johnson Institute Launches in China

The Johnson & Johnson Institute – the arm of the pharmaceutical company focusing on professional medical information has this week opened its new facility in Beijing. The opening represents the largest investment the Institute has made in some time, and the Beijing location will serve as the flagship facility in the Asia-Pacific region. Since entering the market, the Institute has been devoted to enhancing healthcare in the country by setting up educational centers in Beijing and Shanghai where medical professionals can experience training via broadcasts to remote locations, VR simulations, surgical simulations and live classes. Over 14,000 professionals were educated in over 1,000 sessions in 2017, with many becoming leaders in their fields afterwards.

Read more on Global Times

Australian Firms Eye China’s Healthcare Market

As China’s population grows ever-older, aged care has not only becoming a national priority for the Chinese government, but also a big business opportunity for healthcare firms. The size and purchasing power of the country’s aging population has prompted Australian healthcare providers to enter the fast-growing market. Analysts expect China’s demand for healthcare services and elderly care to grow significantly in the next decade, with AusTrade estimating that by 2020 the population will hit 1.4 billion, of which 248 million will be aged 60 or above. Couple with this, the growing middle class also demands high quality services, which are in short supply as of now, paving the way for foreign companies to enter the market to make up the lack of supply.

Read more on Business Inquirer

Australian Coalition Government Ministers Put Forward Energy Policies

Liberal backbenchers and a few Nationals ministers are putting a fight to current Liberal energy policies. Liberal minister, Trent Zimmerman suggested that it was essential to have the commonwealth states and territories on board with the national energy policy as the states and territories “control the levers” to Australia’s energy grid. The Liberal backbenchers want to stick to three energy goals: providing grid security, lowering prices and meeting the Paris agreement targets. Zimmerman is also warning the Coalition not to ignore the rising concern of Australians about the impact of climate change.

Read more at the Guardian