Health & Lifesciences Talking Points | 12-07-2016


In today’s Talking Points: Chinese health and pharmaceuticals companies show increasing interest in purchasing 100% shares of Australian supplements companies; Tasmanian ‘tobacco-free generation’ bill declared to be legally sound; numbers of Chinese couples seeking IVF jump in 2015-16 after introduction of second-child policy; Chengdu leads innovation in healthcare space as trend of government support for startups ricochets across China’s many provinces. 

Chinese demand for vitamins behind takeover interest in Australian health companies

Leading Chinese health companies CSPC, Beijing Scrianen and Ningbo Nuscan are in the market to purchase Australian pharmaceutical, health and pharmacy chains. Following the sale of Swisse to Hong Kong vitamins firm Biostime last year for $1.7 billion, the trifecta of Chinese companies has set their sights on Nature’s Care, up for sale for $1 billion. China is a huge driving force behind the growth of Australian supplement providers; a third of Swisse’s sales are through the grey market of undeclared packages into China. However, earlier this year the Chinese government began a crackdown on the grey market, conducting more regular on-the-spot checks and introducing regulatory changes to enforce a 12% tax on foreign goods purchased online.

Read more at ABC News


Tasmanian ‘tobacco-free generation’ legislation gets the green light

The Tasmanian Legislative Body, which has been investigating groundbreaking legislation to establish a tobacco-free generation, has found no legal reason to prevent the operation of the bill. The Public Health Amendment (Tobacco Free Generation) Bill 2014 would result in a law banning sale of tobacco to people born after 1st January 2000. People under the age of 16 would have no legal access to tobacco products. The report has identified risks such as age discrimination, accidental breaches by tourists and potential legal action by tobacco manufacturers, however committee chairman Craig Farrell wrote in the final report that “there does not appear to be any significant legal impediment to the operation of the bill”. The bill has also received the support of Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

Read more at Xinhua News


Second-Child Policy yields increase in demand for reproductive technologies

The adoption of the Second-Child Policy in 2015 has seen a rise in demand of couples seeking assisted reproductive technologies. “Last year, we completed about 60 artificial insemination procedures in the hospital, but the number was more than 100 in the first half of this year” said Zhang Jun, head of operation at Beijing Bao Dao Healthcare, a high-end maternity hospital. After receiving permission from health authorities in Beijing at the start of this year, Beijing Bao Dao Healthcare began to offer in vitro fertilization services to meet this rising demand.

Read more at China Daily


Chengdu – the next hub for health innovation?

Teams of researchers and entrepreneurs are benefitting from the boom of investment into innovation zones and funds across the country. In Chengdu, Chinese-born and US-trained biologist Y. James Kang leads a team developing 3D printing techniques to repair damaged skin, hearts, livers and brains in animals by replicating organ structures such as layers of skin and blood vessels. Kang’s healthcare startup Revotek has attracted 215 million yuan ($33 million) in funding alone; the local Chengdu government has set up seven startup-focused funds backed by 700 million yuan to prioritise industries of health, biotech and telecommunications. But for the entrepreneurs to stay, Katrina Lv, associate partner at consultancy McKinsey & Co, notes the city needs to avoid the mistake many other Chinese cities have made in building scores of sterile office blocks and to instead create vibrant communities where people can easily work, live and find entertainment.

Read more at China Daily