Sanofi holds China Health Road Symposium at CIIE

2018-11-14 11:20 1291

SHANGHAI, Nov. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- At the first China International Import Expo, Sanofi, the world's leading healthcare company, said during the China Health Road Symposium, that with Innovation, Partnership and Commitment as the three key words, it will strive to introduce the innovative drugs and vaccines exhibited at the import expo to China as early as possible. The company will collaborate with its partners to allow these new drugs to benefit Chinese patients, with a focus on covering a large number of community health centers and county hospitals, as it delivers on its commitment to cater to the health needs of China's people.

Innovation: story behind the approval of a rare-disease drug just before the expo

At the China Health Road Symposium, Sanofi introduced how the six innovative drugs and new vaccines displayed at the import expo were developed. One of the "behind-the-scenes stories" received significant attention: Aubagio, a new rare-disease drug, was launched just prior to the import expo.

Aubagio is the first oral new drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis in China. Multiple sclerosis is a rare disease, which usually begins between the ages of 20 and 40, and is 1.5 times to twice as common in women as in men. It casts a heavy burden on patients and their families. In the past, it usually took a few years for an original new drug to go through all application processes to get listing approval. In May 2018, multiple sclerosis was included on the "First List of Rare Diseases" in China. Thanks to the new policy support, it set a record for the fastest launch of a rare-disease drug in China.

Jean-Christophe Pointeau, Country Chair of Sanofi China
Jean-Christophe Pointeau, Country Chair of Sanofi China

Jean-Christophe Pointeau, Country Chair of Sanofi China, said: "We sincerely thank the Chinese government for its determination and effort to accelerate the approval of innovative drugs, and we pay tribute to all experts, especially healthcare practitioners, for their consistent support. We will gear up the introduction of innovative drugs and vaccines in China, and catch up with Europe and the United States in the listing schedules to benefit as many Chinese patients as possible."

Partnership: next stop is primary care

Debuting these new drugs at the import expo is just the first step. At the symposium, Sanofi joined hands with its partners to explore how to enable medicines, vaccines and services to benefit Chinese patients and people, especially covering community health centers and county hospitals.

At the symposium, representatives from the China Preventive Medicine Association, the Association of China County Hospital Presidents, and county-level health bureaus shared their own stories and feelings about being the "county-level health gatekeepers."

Kong Lingzhi, Vice President of the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association, said: "Promoting the tiered diagnosis and treatment system is a top priority in China's ongoing healthcare reform. One important goal is to ensure rural residents are able to get their critical diseases treated within the counties that they live; 90 percent of all diseases should be controlled within counties."

Feng Shiqiang, vice director of the Association of China County Hospital Presidents, said that the association is helping county hospital presidents to learn from each other's experience in healthcare reform, while revving up efforts to develop disease centers in such areas as chest pain and stroke. China now has chest pain centers in thousands county hospitals, thus forming a national network of first aid and long-term disease management for patients with chest pain. Patients no longer need to go to hospitals in large cities, and the system has significantly shortened the time before patients get treated with higher efficiency, lower mortality and improved prognosis.

As the first multinational pharmaceutical enterprise to elevate county-level primary healthcare through a dedicated primary care business unit in 2011, Sanofi is actively responding to the call of the central and local governments, collaborating with industry societies and associations in a wide range of areas. One outstanding example is: it teams up with the Stroke Prevention Project Committee under the National Health Commission and the Association of China County Hospital Presidents to jointly build a national network for the prevention and control of stroke and chest pain.

Commitment: Remain in China, for China

Apart from building a presence in county-level hospitals, Sanofi is also paving the "Health Road" in thousands of community health centers across the country.

At the symposium, Professor Zhu Shanzhu, Director of the Department of General Medicine, Shanghai Medical School, Fudan University, and Song Jianling, a general practitioner at the Changfeng Community Health Service Center in Shanghai's Putuo District, joined hands with their patients to share inspiring stories about GPs and families.

Prior to the import expo, Sanofi launched the China Health Road Program with the support of its headquarters. The program targets primary care in China, with a package plan to provide long-term training for GPs, including the first phase of six projects. By 2020, the program is expected to cover 94 percent of the areas along the Belt and Road in China.

At the end of the symposium, Jean-Christophe Pointeau led the company's China management team to place an "In China, for China" seal on a scroll. He highlighted: "As one of the first multinational pharmaceutical companies in China, we have been devoted to bringing health to Chinese people over the past 36 years. Sanofi greatly appreciates President Xi's confidence in bolstering opening-up and fostering collaboration at the CIIE opening ceremony. President Xi said that the Chinese economy is a sea. As the world's leading healthcare company and an outstanding corporate citizen, Sanofi, together with our 9,500 employees, will be dedicated to our mission and strive to safeguard the health of Chinese people."


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Source: Sanofi