high demand for better access to quality healthcare solutions

When the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) abolished a rule that required companies to repeat all drug trials on the Chinese population in October 2017, authorities were able to fast-track drug approvals and narrow the drug lag to less than 18 months.

This change was implemented to address the escalating demands from the Chinese population for quality drugs that were previously approved in the US and Europe. In the past, people living in China will have to wait up to four years for a drug to be approved as healthcare companies will need to repeat clinical trials on the Chinese population - a time that many patients do not have the luxury to spare.

Since the rule was abolished, the Chinese population has more access to better quality drugs from the west. Some pharmaceutical companies have even decided to launch some of their products in China first to address the pressing healthcare demands. This means that the Hong Kong SAR population will also benefit, as they will have priority access to innovative drugs before their western counterparts.

addressing rising healthcare costs in hong kong SAR

National healthcare expenditure is expected to increase as a result of the ageing population and the rising number of cases of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and dementia. However, hospital bed occupancy is at an all-time-high and healthcare institutions are stretching their resources to address the growing patient population.

More medical and healthcare device companies have also started setting up operations in Hong Kong SAR, to develop home-based equipment and orthopaedic tools that cater to local patients. With the government injecting a further HKD$40 billion investment into this space, we expect to see robust developments in the Hong Kong Science Park as more global biomedical companies establish their presence in Hong Kong SAR.

2019 employment outlook in life sciences

With the growing patient population and healthcare demands in Hong Kong SAR, biomedical professionals – from research and development to techno-commercial roles – will continue to be highly sought-after this year. Potential candidates in this space may receive a salary increment of up to 15% if they change employers and those with niche specialisation and experience in healthcare will receive more.

to read more about the talent demands in life sciences, download Randstad Hong Kong's 2019 market outlook and salary snapshot.

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