In the "post-epidemic" era, How Can Chinese Clinical Comparators Save Your Cost ？
What is the "post-epidemic" era?
My colleague Mr.Zhang once used to having noodles for lunch in the restaurant which is near the company for several years. But in 2020, this restaurant was closed due to the epidemic, Mr. Zhang had to buy convenience food as his lunch.
At first, he was not used to it. But after a long time, he felt that the convenience food was not bad. It's convenient, sufficient, and not unpalatable. What's important, it's much cheaper.
Although the restaurant has resumed business for one year, Mr.Zhang has never been there again.
For Mr.Zhang, there is no loss. He eats everything he eats. He is as happy as before. But for the ramen restaurant, a loyal customer has lost.
Not just ordinary people like Mr.Zhang, every family, company, enterprise, and even the behavior of the entire country have been forced to make many changes under the influence of the epidemic. These changes will be difficult to reverse even after the epidemic has passed.
We have been troubled by the epidemic for almost two years. We don’t know whether human beings have acquired the ability to live in harmony with the new crown virus.
This is the "post-epidemic" era.
For the pharmaceutical industry, what are the opportunities and challenges that accompany the post-epidemic era? How will the supply of R&D drugs as a key link in pharmaceutical research be affected? Will the estrangement and mistrust between countries due to the epidemic hinder the development of global medical science?
Regarding these issues, the author contacted Beijing Mingyan Pharmaceutical Research Co., Ltd., a well-known domestic CRO, and interviewed the two main persons in charge of the company.
They will combine their work experience to solve the confusion in the hearts of readers.
Beijing Memorial Pharmaceutical Research and Development Co.,ltd.
CliniExpert Business Manager
According to the introduction on the company’s official website, Memorial Pharmaceuticals is positioning itself as a “systematic management service provider for the whole life cycle of drugs”, and its service scope runs through a series of links such as drug research and development, market management, and sales layout. As an "all-rounder", the future is promising. But in 2020, the sudden outbreak of the epidemic has had a considerable impact on Memorial Pharmaceutical's future plans.
James Ho said that Memorial Pharmaceuticals officially launched the CliniExpert service in 2019, which is a business segment dedicated to the import and export of clinical research drugs. Its service targets include both Chinese pharmaceutical companies and foreign pharmaceutical companies. The impact of the global epidemic on Memorial Pharmaceutical business is also mainly reflected in CliniExpert.
According to Skye, the business manager in charge of CliniExpert, before the epidemic, the main task of CliniExpert was to help domestic and foreign clinical research projects save money. For example, some European pharmaceutical companies realize that many original research drugs also have production lines in China, and it is much cheaper to purchase clinical reference drugs from China than in their home countries, and they will entrust CliniExpert to help purchase them.
There are also some clinical trial drugs and reference substances for domestic projects that were produced abroad in the early stage, and CliniExpert can also help them with import matters.
In addition, CliniExpert can also provide services such as storage, repackaging, labeling and distribution of clinical drugs. At present, domestic and foreign pharmaceutical companies are increasingly demanding these services, but there are only a handful of organizations that provide services. The existence of CliniExpert can be said to be a long way to go.
However, after the sudden outbreak of the epidemic, all of CliniExpert’s customers, whether in China or foreign countries, whether they are pharmaceutical companies, CROs, or hospitals, no longer consult about drug research and use matters, but choose to take the initiative to assume corporate social responsibility The focus of the work is on collecting materials from all over the world to support their home country’s anti-epidemic cause. CliniExpert is the same.
In April 2000, after the domestic epidemic eased, CliniExpert was finally able to let go of the responsibility of importing anti-epidemic materials. Then the epidemic abroad began to get out of control. Without even a chance to breathe, CliniExpert took on the task of exporting anti-epidemic materials to countries hardest hit by the epidemic.
During this period, CliniExpert not only donated a large amount of anti-epidemic materials to Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Latvia, India, Bangladesh and other countries, but also overcame many difficulties and successfully exported 2000 boxes of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets to Ukraine.
But when it comes to business development, James Ho believes that the import and export of anti-epidemic materials is, in the final analysis, only the work done by CliniExpert in the special period of the epidemic. The greatest value of CliniExpert is to ensure the supply of clinical trial drugs for Chinese and foreign pharmaceutical companies.
Speaking of the "post-epidemic" era, Skye believes that the biggest difference between today's scientific research drug import and export business compared with before the epidemic is mainly in two aspects-finance and logistics.
First of all, in terms of finances, due to the impact of the epidemic, banks in some foreign areas have not fully recovered their functions. The daily reception volume is limited, which may cause delays in remittances. This directly affects the time for suppliers to prepare and deliver goods, and ultimately affect the progress of the entire project.
"Not only banks, but many of CliniExpert's customers are also short of funds," James Ho added. "Some company projects don't do it when they do it. It's not that they don't want to do it, but they have no money."
Secondly, in terms of logistics, the decline in the efficiency of international transportation is the heaviest blow to the import and export of scientific research drugs. "Our export of hydroxychloroquine took more than a month before and after. At that time, there were only a few airlines in the world that could operate, and they were all in a state of liquidation. They had to wait in line." Skye recalled.
"In the past, to do this work well, we only need to thoroughly study the relevant knowledge of clinical trials, master the operation procedures of import and export trade, and solve the language problems in communication with countries around the world. However, "Skye said, "In the post-epidemic era, these capabilities alone are not enough."
In order to solve the logistics problem, CliniExpert explored all applicable transportation routes during the epidemic. Many routes that would not be used under extreme conditions have basically been opened up now.
At the same time, CliniExpert also increased its overseas publicity efforts, proactively contacted potential customers, and increased its business volume after the epidemic.
On the basis of actively solving external contradictions, Linyan commuted to practice "internal strength", improved a series of SOPs, took all possible risks into consideration before accepting business, and improved the team's combat capability and core cohesion.
"Anything that can't kill you will make you stronger." James Ho said, "2020 is the fastest growing year for CliniExpert. Our logistics resources are more abundant, we are more familiar with customs affairs, and successfully completed the anti-corruption process. The import and export business of virus drugs, antitumor drugs, biological agents, fine hemp drugs, and some dangerous goods."
During the epidemic, the difficulty of these businesses was several times and dozens of times more difficult than usual. Although "born" is only one year old, CliniExpert can already be on its own.
"Accelerating the process of pharmaceutical research and development, reducing the cost of pharmaceutical research and development, and improving the length and quality of life of patients are the common aspirations of all mankind. As a member of Chinese pharmaceutical companies, we are willing to share the same destiny with pharmaceutical people all over the world. We are willing to dedicate our Chinese power to the pharmaceutical industry all over the world, and we are willing to become a bridge between the pharmaceutical industry in China and the pharmaceutical industry in the world."
James Ho said at the end of the interview.