In the light of stimulating and encouraging innovation in its pharmaceutical industry, China has established a three-year pilot scheme to ease approvals for new drugs, said China's drug and food regulator.
According to the China Food and Drug Administration, the trial will be launched in 10 different regions across China, and it will allow R&D organizations to quickly seek drug approvals, which are currently restricted only to drug manufacturers.
The current laws make it difficult for smaller, research-based firms to bring new medicines to market, as they need to invest in expensive manufacturing plants before seeking approval. The scheme in the long-term could create more powerful local firms to rival global players.
China is looking to reform its over-burdened healthcare system, which is blighted by crowded hospitals, corruption and tension between patients and staff. Industry insiders, though, say reform is grinding along.
The trial, which will take place in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai as well as southern Guangdong province and wealthy Zhejiang, comes into effect from Thursday, the CFDA said.