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JD.com partners with big Pharma GSK to analyse healthcare data and provide healthcare in China

By Paul Skeldon May 9, 2018 - 8:29 pm

Ecommerce giant JD.com has extended an existing partnership with big pharma behemoth GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to explore how to harness big data and medical information to help the country manage its healthcare.

The move will also lead to shifting medical and pharmaceutical goods in new and stratospheric levels and marks the first open leap of a marketplace into big pharma.

As part of the cooperation, there is a bilateral plan to work on community programmes, helping people access medical services more easily for diseases like HIV.

“GSK is a world leader in creating and delivering medicines, vaccines and other products that save lives and improve health. We are leveraging our expertise at organizing and harnessing the flow of products and data to improve people’s lives. Working with GSK, we can find better, clearer, faster and more transparent ways to get medicines and medical and health information to people when they need it.”

– Lijun Xin, President of JD Home and Life

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company. The company researches, develops and manufactures a wide range of medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. Creating innovative products and improving access to them is critical to GSK’s mission, allowing the company to help build stronger, healthier communities all over the world.

“Internet-based healthcare is a key link in China’s national health strategy. Through our strategic collaboration with JD.com, a pioneering leader in China’s online healthcare and pharmaceutical services, we are committed to exploring and developing ‘Internet + Healthcare’ solutions against the strategic backdrop of ‘Healthy China 2030’, and ultimately improving Chinese people and patients’ healthcare service quality and accessibility. We look forward to joining forces in this effort to improve our society.”

– Thomas Willemsen, Chairman of GSK (China) Investment Co. Ltd

JD isn’t the first marketplace player to dally in pharma. Amazon as far back as mid 2017 has been linked with a move into pharmaceuticalsand did launch its own basic medicines and healthcare ranges in Februarythis year under the brand ‘Basic Care‘.

Amazon has also been linked with entry to the healthcare and pharmaceutical distribution business, harnessing its own logistics network and has a pharmacy licence to distribute medicines.

This would set up Amazon not to necessarily be a drugs retailer, but more to leverage its logistics might and become a distributor of wholesale pharmaceuticals to pharmacies in several states in the US. This would see it take on some of the largest drug suppliers in the US and, who knows, may yet see it sell medicines to the public.

JD.com has moved in on the Chinese market offering to deliver public health benefits and to analyse what it can learn from the big data that it and GSK have on consumers. It can only be a matter of time before that is turned into sales.

Then, is likely to see Amazon make a move into pharma in the US or other territories? One to watch.

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