Research and Forecast on China Insulin Market, 2014 - 2018

A survey conducted by Huidian Research shows that China’s insulin market scale approximately registered CNY 11 billion in 2013, of which CNY 7.5 billion achieved in second-generation insulin market and CNY 3.5 billion generated in third-generation insulin market. Now third-generation insulin market grows faster than second-generation insulin. And second-generation insulin market will accelerate growing space because it is just listed into new essential drug catalogue. 

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Currently there are only two companies owning full series of insulin products globally, Tonghua Dongbao is one of the two. As for global insulin market at present, only three companies, including Tonghua Dongbao, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, produce second-generation insulin in quantity. Under oligopolistic competition in the global market, it is difficult to tell which companies’ products are better, but Tonghua Dongbao enjoys the lowest overall production cost. Compared with expensive insulin produced by transnational giants, governments can reduce expenditure of health insurance if buying Dongbao’s insulin, so Tonghua Dongbao will become a powerful contender when competing for more market shares with transnational giants in the developing countries. 

Four domestic companies obtained production approval of second-generation insulin, namely United Laboratories, Donghua Tongbao, Wanbang and Shenzhen Kexing Biotech. The latter two received production approval in 2003, but their products did not sell in market due to bad quality. Currently Wanbang’s animal insulin injections enjoy the largest sales volume in China. 

Third-generation insulin in foreign market covers rapid-acting insulin (insulin aspart and insulin lispro) and long-acting insulin (insulin glargine and insulin detemir). Recombinant insulin lispro and its injection, which are high-end products, also belong to third-generation insulin. Third-generation insulin is quicker to take effects and also can better simulate physiologic insulin secretion pattern. Information disclosed by China Food and Drug Administration show that Eli Lilly and Company and Gan & Lee (a private company in China) owns production approval documents of this type of insulin. Affected by its commercial bribery case, business performance of Gan & Lee witnessed a significant drop in 2013, but its third-generation insulin that is a foreign-funded brand with dominant position in market had not been influenced much. 

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Research holds a view that for now third-generation insulin is superior in effects but its price is far higher than second-generation insulin, low and middle income patients without medical insurance are hard to pay for the expensive drug cost. So in wide grass roots market, second-generation insulin enjoys an overwhelming superiority. But it is predicated that with the decreasing price, third-generation insulin will replace second-generation insulin in the next years, representing the general trend. 

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