Ben Cavender CMR 3
Ben Cavender

Scrutinizing foreign firms is nothing new in China, but the recent investigation into drug prices is a clear message to the industry, tells market researcher Ben Cavender to CNN.


Ben Cavender, an associate principal at China Market Research Group, said that the investigation into pricing should not come as a surprise to foreign drug companies operating in China.

“Foreign companies are going to be under a little more scrutiny,” Cavender said. “That’s just the price of doing business here.”

But Cavender said the scope of this particular investigation, and the very public way in which it was announced, is a message to the industry.

“There has always been a lot pressure here to keep prices affordable for consumers,” Cavender said. “There is a lot of pressure within the government to make sure people are able to go out and buy products.”

Drugmakers are also under pressure to reduce costs in China as the country’s population grows older, a trend that is straining the country’s medical system and care facilities.

More in CNN.

Ben Cavender is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

China Weekly Hangout

How is China’s labor force changing, asked the China Weekly Hangout on May 24, and was joined by Dee Lee, of the NGO Inno in Guangzhou, who is running a workers’ hotline, mainly funded by big brands who want to keep an eye on working conditions. Economist Heleen Mees, in New York, Sam Xu and Fons Tuinstra, of the China Speakers Bureau, ask him questions.

On July 1 Hong Kong we saw the annual march against Beijing rule. The +China Weekly Hangout will examine on Thursday July 11 (delayed hangout from July 4) the turnout, and how the relationship between Hong Kong and Beijing has developed, since China took over the former British enclave. You can read our announcement here, or join the debate at our event page here.

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