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October 28, 2018

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Building an Asian medical hub to bolster the Shanghai Brand

OVER the last 40 years, Shanghai has become an engine for international economic cooperation and competition, serving as a powerful driver for the Chinese economy and an alluring gateway for the international community. Launching the Shanghai Brand as a symbol of the city’s dynamics and appeal offers a clear framework for the city’s twin goals: reform and opening up, and high-quality development.

This strategy has been articulated through critical policies such as the Opinions on Developing Shanghai’s Four Major Brands and Leading High-Quality Development, and the 2018 Shanghai Government Work Report. Moreover, as outlined in the Healthy Shanghai 2030 plan, Shanghai’s long-term vision of becoming a globally competitive health science and innovation center further underlines the great importance of health for the city’s future. Leveraging Shanghai’s exceptional resources to build a globally competitive Shanghai Brand should be the city’s priority in reinforcing its competitive edge and deepening reform and opening up.

From our perspective, making Shanghai a medical hub in Asia with a world-class health care sector and a prosperous biomedical industry will significantly increase the city’s influence and reinforce its strategic advantage and global competitiveness.

Meeting the health care needs of its residents is one of the core functions for a city and also an important factor in increasing its service capacity and influence. In recent years, health care has become increasingly important worldwide. In China, it has been elevated to the level of a national strategy. In particular, the national “Healthy China” initiative, the recent comments on the health care industry by Premier Li Keqiang, and the policies encouraging the development of therapies for cancer and rare diseases have demonstrated the government’s determination to improve the overall health of the citizens. However, there are still many unmet medical needs in China and many other Asian countries, and there is a clear gap in health care between people in those countries and their counterparts in developed countries. Therefore, making Shanghai a medical hub in Asia to address the unmet medical needs in the region would contribute to Shanghai’s effort to increase its influence and advance the Shanghai Brand.

In order to support Shanghai in its effort to become a medical hub in Asia, to play a leading role in health care innovation, and to realize the goals set out in Healthy Shanghai 2030, Roche advises that Shanghai do the following three things as a priority:

Establishing a Center of Excellence for the
Diagnosis and Treatment of Special Diseases

Shanghai should leverage policy tools to expedite the establishment of a Center of Excellence for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Special Diseases (CEDTSD). Specifically, the Center should focus on special diseases for which there is a lack of effective treatment options in China and across the Asia-Pacific region, to improve public awareness, the accessibility and affordability of innovative therapies, and the capability to do clinical researches on special diseases. In addition, the city should leverage the Center to foster international collaboration and promote the adoption of Internet+ technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data in clinical practice.

The CEDTSD will enable Shanghai to take a leading role in implementing the national strategy for special diseases and fulfill its duty as a pioneer and forerunner in China.

Creating a prosperous biomedicine cluster

Shanghai should utilize continuous policy innovation and its advantage in getting resources as a global financial center to develop a biomedical industry vibrant with cutting-edge research & development and manufacturing activities and sustain its position as a medical hub in Asia. Specifically, Shanghai should focus on facilitating collaboration among research institutions, enterprises, and hospitals, and formulate industrial policies meeting the highest international standards. Moreover, Shanghai should increase long-term investments in the biomedical industry through diverse funding sources and public–private partnerships, and work hard to cultivate and attract talent.

Leveraging Roche’s expertise and knowledge

As a global leader in personalized health care, Roche is always committed to “doing now what patients need next” and is “in China, for China.” Roche appreciates the opportunity to play a part in Shanghai’s development with its insights. Roche possesses a unique advantage in genetic testing, precision diagnostics, and the development of targeted therapies.

As an industry leader, Roche looks forward to sharing its rich expertise and knowledge with Shanghai, especially with regard to innovative treatments for special diseases, the application of AI and big data, and international collaboration, to help Shanghai become a medical hub in Asia as soon as possible.

Looking forward, implementing the Shanghai Brand strategy will further enhance Shanghai’s global competitiveness and enable it to become a medical hub in Asia. Meanwhile, the strategy will also serve as a reference for other Chinese cities looking to achieve high-quality and innovative development. Roche is willing to work with all the stakeholders to help build a world-class health care sector for Shanghai and make the biomedical industry a key pillar for the Shanghai Brand. With this, we will contribute to the realization of Healthy China 2030 and facilitate the city’s reform and opening up.

Through strategic implementation, Roche is committed to working with all stakeholders to promote the biomedical industry as a key pillar for development of the Shanghai Brand, leading the overall process of reform and opening up, and contributing to a new global order of openness, mutual benefit, and cooperation.


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