China currently has the largest hepatitis B virus (HBV) treatment market in the world, and will account for nearly half of the world’s total drug sales for the liver disease by 2024, according to new data from medical research and consulting firm GlobalData, the Pharma Letter reports.


The report, which covered the eight major HBV drug markets in the world — the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan and China — projects that China may see its international market share rise from 38.8 percent of the overall global hep B population to 47.2 percent over the next 10 years. Analysts predict drug sales in the country will jump from just under $923 million in 2014 to over $1.4 billion by 2024.

According to experts, the market trend is largely due to natural population growth in China, as well as the fact that more people are seeking hep B treatment in the country than ever before. Currently, China makes up 80 percent of all treated cases across the eight major HBV drug markets. Uncoincidentally, the country also has access to some of the cheapest hep B treatments in the world.

Despite the relatively high rates of hep B in China, health officials in the country say they have also recently made serious efforts to improve screening and public awareness around hep B. Among the Chinese population, infants are screened for HBV as part of a regular health check at birth and at various points in their lives, with testing generally organized by schools and employers.