New Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping wants to improve medical care and says China needs to “learn more about the world.”
Mr Xi – who was named as the successor to Hu Jintao and China's next 'paramount leader' earlier today – made the comments in a speech at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing this lunch time.
“Our people love life and expect better education, more stable jobs, better income, more reliable social security, medical care of a higher standard, more comfortable living conditions, and a more beautiful environment."
Mr Xi also said that: “China needs to learn more about the world, and the world also needs to learn more about China. I hope you will continue to make more efforts and contributions to deepening the mutual understanding between China and the countries of the world.”
While the former chemical engineering student’s first speech as incumbent President may have lacked specifics, his desire to elevate the standard medical care is worth noting for local pharmaceutical and chemical firms, international players that operate in China and companies that source ingredients and excipients from the country.
Since January the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) has issued guidelines designed to improve excipient quality , started naming and shaming manufacturers that break drug and medical device laws and called for collaboration between Pharmacopeias on testing methods.
Whether such regulatory efforts will intensify under Mr Xi's leadership remain to be seen, but his reputation as a party harderliner and anti-corruption campaigner would certainly fit with this idea.
His comments about learning more about the world may also have implications for the pharmaceutical industry.
In the last two months SFDA Commissioner Yin Li has meet with Elena Telnova, acting head of the Federal Service on Surveillance in Healthcare and Social Development of Russian Federation (Roszdravnadzor) and Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner of the US FDA.
With Roszdravnadzor the SFDA agreed to co-operate on the exchange of regulatory information on active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and testing technologies, while talks with the US group focused on “cooperation in drug supervision.
It is likely that such interactions will increase under any leadership that wants to engage more with the outside world.