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Time:March 23-25, 2019
Beijing Diaoyutai State Guesthouse
Sponsor:Development Research Center of the State Council
Organiser:China Development Research Foundation
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Paving the way for access to innovative cell and gene therapies in China

Dr. Vas Narasimhan

CEO Novartis

Executive Summary

China has made tremendous strides over several decades in reforming and improving its healthcare system, helping millions of people enjoy longer, healthier lives. As the pace of medical innovation in China and around the world accelerates, however, policymakers could adapt their reform efforts to ensure China remains at the forefront of research and development into new therapies. Reforms could also facilitate access for Chinese patients to the latest innovative treatments.

Among the most dynamic areas of progress in medicine are advances in cell and gene therapies. They are often one-time treatments that target the underlying cause of disease and in some cases have the potential to cure patients, rather than simply treat their symptoms. China has made rapid progress in the research and development of these new therapies.

Novartis sees opportunities for the Chinese government to even further accelerate progress in three areas: strengthen the regulatory framework for cell and gene therapies; devote more attention to the special healthcare needs of patients who can benefit from them; and develop new solutions to help patients gain access to them. Reforms in these three areas would complement the tremendous effort and impressive achievements already made to strengthen China’s healthcare system, and support the country’s continued social and economic development. It will help the Chinese government to raise the quality level of medicines in general and of these treatments specifically as well as serve patients’ needs and ensure their safety.

A favourable policy environment in this field will also further support investments in China, i.e. more drug researchers with a global vision and experience will come to China to develop cell and gene therapies. In addition, raising standards in the various areas related to cell and gene therapies will support the government’s aim to take over an international leading role in this field.

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