Can China Lure Big Pharma?

Beijing is bent on attracting world-class pharmaceutical R&D labs. The bait: cheap clinical trials

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A pharmacist holding a bottle in a storeroom.

As an oncologist, Dr. Jiang Zefei is trained to save lives. Working in China's mediocre health system, this is rarely an easy task. Patients typically cannot afford basic care, and up-to-date medicine often isn't even available. Recently, though, Jiang has gained an unexpected helping hand: global clinical drug trials.

Lured by immense patient populations ailing from both chronic and infectious diseases, Big Pharma has turned to China to test its newest products. Jiang's cancer patients are the beneficiaries. "They're getting advanced care without worrying about the price," says Jiang, a staff physician at Beijing's No. 307...

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