China's Gastric Cancer Drug Market To Nearly Triple By 2012

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Decision Resources forecasts that the Chinese gastric cancer drug market will nearly triple between 2007 and 2012. According to the new Emerging Markets report entitled Gastric Cancer in China, this growth will be fueled by increased access to health insurance and greater patient spending power, leading to increased usage of targeted therapies.

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Additionally, the prevalence of gastric cancer in China is among the highest in the world. In 2007, approximately 392,000 cases were diagnosed in China, and it is forecasted that the indication population will grow 2.3 percent per year between 2007 and 2012.

The report also finds that Jiangsu Simcere's Endostar and Merck KGaA's Erbitux are the targeted therapies prescribed most often by Chinese physicians for the treatment of gastric cancer. These new targeted therapies will be prescribed to a greater percentage of the eligible population in China than in the past, benefiting from increased physician familiarity and better efficacy and toxicity profiles than conventional chemotherapy agents. More importantly, surveyed physicians anticipate that some targeted therapies will be included in the National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL) by 2012, significantly increasing patient accessibility to these drugs.

"The Chinese government plans to insure close to 100 percent of the Chinese population by 2010 through three government-sponsored insurance schemes: Basic Medical Insurances (BMI), Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance (URBMI) and new Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS)," said Victor Li, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "These initiatives will increase gastric cancer diagnosis and drug-treatment rates in China and present an opportunity for multinational companies to reach a larger patient population."

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