Pharma's new favorite outsourcing spot: China

Quality-control fears notwithstanding, China has knocked India off the catbird seat as pharma's favorite spot for outsourcing. According to a new report from PriceWaterhouse Coopers, China beats every other Asian country as an investment and contracting destination, followed by India, Korea and Taiwan. The countries all were evaluated by cost, risk, and market opportunities.

And it's not just low-cost production that's luring pharma to Asia, either. The report found that the region is growing in stature as a source for innovation and discovery. Plus, local markets are burgeoning, giving pharma the potential for lots of new emerging-market sales.

The various countries have different strengths, with China and India the primary drivers of pharma growth in the region. Singapore, on the other hand, is considered more of an R&D specialist, while Korea and Taiwan are emerging as competitors for pharma investment and business. What's contributing the the region's magnetism? Greater attention to intellectual property protections, for one. Cheaper clinical trials, of course. And an explosion of growth in certified contract manufacturers. In India, for example, there are more than 100 FDA-approved pharma plants, the largest number in any country outside the U.S.

- read the outsourcing release