Aoxing gets OK to make narcotic pain reliever

Updated: 2015-06-10 11:12

By Niu Yue in New York(China Daily USA)

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Five years after listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, Aoxing Pharmaceutical Co Inc visited the NYSE again, its CEO announcing that it had been granted a license to produce a narcotic pain reliever in China.

Aoxing announced on Monday that it had received approval from the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) to make tilidine hydrochloride tablets.

"This is a significant milestone achievement in the business development of Aoxing Pharma," CEO Yue Zhenjiang said at the NYSE on Tuesday. "Tilidine is less addictive and works well on reliving pain. What's more, it's the first time it's being produced in China."

In a statement on Monday, Yue said that "this approval is the culmination of 12 years of research, development and regulatory activities. Our entry into the market will be a significant breakthrough in China's fight to treat pain. Our Tilidine HCL tablets offer a convenient medium for delivery of this drug."

He said that a report published by the World Health Organization in 1985 made him realize the great potential of the pain-relief market in China.

According to a 2000 WHO survey, the amount of per capita narcotic consumption in China was less than 1% of that in North America, because Chinese people hadn't realized that relieving pain could improve both their physical and mental health, and research and production are forbidden without approval.

Aoxing, established in Shijiazhuang in 2000, acquired permission in 2002 to enter the narcotics market in China.

Other Aoxing drugs, like an oxycodone tablet and naloxone sublingual tablet have already completed clinical trials, and the company expects them to be licensed in China in the next year or two.

Yue said that the current government has raised pain-management treatment to the level of a human right. A new policy on guaranteeing treatment for patients suffering from pain while strictly prohibiting the abuse of controlled substances has been introduced recently.

With an increase in reimbursement from the new medical insurance and the new Rural Medical Cooperative System, as well as the significant improvement of people's living standards, "the demand for narcotic medicines in China will be increasing over 30 percent yearly", Yue said.

Aoxing has 137 products, many of them best-selling pain-relievers.

Shares of Aoxing, which trades under the symbol AXN, closed at $2.67, down 11 cents, in NYSE trading on Tuesday.

Hong Xiao in New York contributed to this story.