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Ali Health Aims to Revolutionize the Chinese Pharmaceutical Industry

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Published on : May 05, 2015

The leading players in China’s private sector, led by Alibaba, are gearing up to make foray in what they are expecting will not only create lucrative prospects but will also earn exponential profit for in the expanding healthcare industry of China. The healthcare sector in China has taken the shape of a delectable pie. With projections of the industry reaching a worth of one trillion dollars by the end of 2020, key players in the industry are vying to fast secure their slice of the pie. 

Recently Ali Health, which is a healthcare subsidiary of Alibaba, recently identified the market for prescription drug as a lucrative souk demonstrating impressive sources of earning. A majority of the prescription drug market in China is held by hospitals at present. They almost sell three quarters of the medicines which are prescribed across the country. This has resulted into a de facto monopoly in the sale of prescription drugs that is also responsible for inflating the drug prices and intensified corruption, as observed by Yanzhong Huang in his recently published book “Governing Contemporary Health in China”. 

It is not only hospitals that are seeking alternative sources of income, Chinese doctors also complain of getting meagerly paid. Therefore, more than often these doctors allegedly resort to making money from rebates from sale of prescribed medicines and drugs by registered companies, as stated by a recently published report. As a result before even the medicines and drugs could enter the hospital premise, their price already gets inflated. 

Alibaba and its partners are hoping to break through this racket and capitalize on the growing prospects of the China pharmaceutical industry in a legal way. Going forward with their objective, not many days ago Alibaba launched a mobile phone application wherein the patients could upload the image of their prescriptions and get price bids from nearby retail pharmaceutical shops.