Biotechnology is definitely a hot topic in China—the country's administrators recently identified it as a "cornerstone of China's national economy by 2020." But most realize that getting there will require a better trained, specialized workforce than currently exists. The Chinese government has been pumping money into life sciences education as part of its plan to achieve a global biotechnological presence over the next 15 years.
China today represents a $15-billion market for pharmaceutical products. China's pharmaceutical industry has been expanding at about 20% over the past five years. It has been predicted that China will become the world's fifth largest single pharmaceutical market by 2010. With such a fast-growing market segment and a huge population, simply getting pharmaceuticals to the patients and healthcare providers is becoming a daunting task. Biopharmaceuticals distributers face the same challenge, with the added complications associated with cold-chain management, shelf-life, and product stability.