China able to produce 1,500 types of drug substances

2008-07-18 02:04:01 GMT       2008-07-18 10:04:01 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING, July 18 (Xinhua) -- China is able to produce 1,500 types of drug substances, many of which lead the world in terms of output, said a white paper published on Friday by the Information Office of the State Council.

The white paper, titled Status Quo of Drug Supervision in China, said through its unremitting efforts in the past 60 years or so since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, especially in the past 30 years since the adoption of the reform and opening-up policies in 1978, China has not only reversed the situation of inadequacy of medical services and drugs, but also remarkably elevated its guarantee capability regarding the qualityand safety of drugs.

"At present, China can produce 1,500 types of drug substances, many of which lead the world in terms of output, including penicillin and vitamin C," the paper said, adding that a number of botanic and natural drugs, such as anti-infective berberine and anti-tumor colchicine have been mass-produced and widely used in China.

China's antibiotic, vitamin, hormone, antipyretic and analgesic, amino acid, and alkaloid products take up considerable shares of the international pharmaceutical market, the paper said, adding that China's artemisinin products are used all over the world, significantly contributing to the international anti-malaria efforts.

Today, China can produce over one billion doses a year of 41 types of vaccines against infection caused by 26 kinds of viruses and pathogenic bacteria. Among them, the country's annual output of vaccines for preventing common infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis), measles, pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus, can serve 500 million people, according to the white paper.

Besides meeting the domestic demand, China also provides vaccines to the World Health Organization (WHO) for disease prevention in other countries, it said, adding that China produces more than 3,000 types of medical devices, among which high-tech diagnosis and treatment products such as the digital X-ray, magnetic resonance, ultrasonic and computed tomography apparatus hold considerable market shares.

By the end of 2007, China had 12,591 enterprises producing medical devices, and 6,913 pharmaceutical enterprises (including producers of prepared slices of Chinese crude drugs and oxygen for medical use), of which 4,682 were producers of active pharmaceutical ingredients and preparations, the paper said.

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