Emerging Markets

August 2013

Type 2 Diabetes in China

Report Authors
Jing Wu, M.S., M.B.A.
Catherine Vasilakis-Scaramozza, Ph.D., M.P.H.


Based on the diagnostic criteria developed in 1999 by the World Health Organization, China has the largest prevalent population of type 2 diabetes in the world. Combined with increasing access to medical care and a burgeoning middle class that has newly acquired economic clout, this large prevalent population promises double-digit pharmaceutical sales growth and significant opportunity for multinational pharmaceutical companies as demand for Western-branded antidiabetic drugs continues to grow throughout China.

Questions Answered in This Report:

  *   The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is at an all-time high in China as a result of the country’s aging population and the influence of urbanization—adoption of Western foods and lifestyles and increasing obesity. What was the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in China in 2012 and what factors will drive its growth through the decade? What changes are expected in diagnosis and drug-treatment rates in urban and rural regions of China?

  *   Like their counterparts in the Western countries, Chinese physicians are mostly influenced by a type 2 drug’s efficacy and safety profiles. How are Western-branded drugs expected to fare against their Western branded competitors and Chinese generics over the forecast period? What are the factors influencing physicians’ decision to prescribe DPP-IV inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists in China? What are the factors limiting their prescribing?

  *   Boasting strong annual double-digit growth, China’s type 2 diabetes therapy market is growing rapidly. Which agents, current and emerging, will be the key players driving market growth over the forecast period? Which drugs will dominate the market by 2017? What is the reimbursement status of multinational brands today and in 2017?


Primary research: 90 physician surveys in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Separate in-depth interviews with 8 medical experts.

Epidemiology: Prevalence of type 2 diabetes in urban and rural China. Ten-year epidemiology forecast (2012-2022).

Market forecast features: Our analysis evaluates the size of the patient population, percentage of diagnosed patients, and percentage of drug-treated patients. We include a detailed forecast for antidiabetic drug classes and leading products over 2012-2017 using a combination of historical trend analysis and an epidemiology-based bottom-up market model.

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Mentioned in this report:

  • - AstraZeneca
  • - Bayer HealthCare
  • - Boehringer Ingelheim
  • - Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • - Eli Lilly and Company
  • - Furiex
  • - GlaxoSmithKline
  • - Johnson & Johnson
  • - Kissei
  • - Merck & Co.
  • - Novartis
  • - Novo Nordisk
  • - Pfizer
  • - Sanofi
  • - Servier
  • - Takeda
  • - Zealand
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