Slightly more than a year ago, in August 2010, China’s Ministry of Commerce
unveiled a draft plan designed to help effect a major restructuring of the
country’s drug distribution system. The goal, according to the plan’s authors,
was to reduce what until recently had been some 16,500 pharmaceutical
wholesalers and 140,000 retailers to no more than two multi-regional large
distribution companies and less than two-dozen regional large distributors.
Improved efficiencies and economies of scale were forecast. The elimination
of secondary distribution markets was likewise anticipated.