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Registration of Pharmaceutical Products in China (NMPA)


National Medical Products Administration (NMPA)

Main regulatory body in China which handles pharmaceutical drug registration management, look after formulating and organizing drug registration, review them and approve or reject them accordingly.

Drug Evaluation Center (CDE)

Under NMPA, Reviewing the clinical trials of drugs, applications for drug marketing authorization, any supplementary applications and applications for re-registration are done by CDE.

Chinese Food and Drug Administration (CFDA/CNDA)

It is responsible for safety and management of food, medical devices, health products, cosmetics and drug in the region. It is directly under the state council.



China classifies drugs into 3 categories and on the basis of these categories the products are developed or registered, those categories are-

1. Chemical Drugs - 6 classes (NCE Related -2)

2. Biological Drugs - 15 classes

3. Traditional Chinese medicines – 9 Classes

They are also classified into 5 categories for drug application as-

1. Improved new drugs

2. Innovative drugs

3. Import drugs

4. Generic drug (Original Drug approved in China)

5. Domestic generic drug (Original drug not approved in China)

There are 2 registration path-way for foreign manufacturers includes improved new/innovative drug or imported drugs and 2 clinical strategies includes parallel development and sequential development.

All the foreign drugs that belongs outside China are requires to register as DMFs via Imported Drug application.

For New drug applications (NDA) NMPA has initiated 4 programs for accelerating the review and approval of drug which includes-

a) Conditional approval (CA)

b) Breakthrough therapy designation (BTD)

c) Priority review (PR)

d) Special approval (SA)

NMPA and its institutions offers technology and policy support which includes communication, technical guidance allocation of resources and decreasing the review time to the applicant if NDA enters any of these categories.

For the registration of generic product for importers or overseas manufacturers without legal representation needs to apply for product registration through agent services. The application is submitted to CFDA after which CDE runs through review process of the product.


  • Dossier shall be directory as per the “Provisions of Drug registration” for application items.

  • Document with the information: Name of application item or drug/product, item number, applicant name, address and contact number.

  • Import License (Import drug registration application form)

  • Approval Certificate

  • Import quota certificate (wherever applicable)

  • Inspection or Clinical testing certificate (where applicable)]

  • Quality and safety license


  • Application for clinical trial is submitted

  • CDE carry out the test report and overall documentation review which takes about 40-60 days depending on the product.

  • The review report is further sent to CFDA with the recommendation by deciding that the product should opt for clinical trial or bioequivalence study.

  • If it opt for clinical study it can be divided into 4 phases

  • If applicant receives clinical trial or bioequivalence study approval, the applicant is free to choose the hospitals for conducting clinical trials from the given clinical trial hospitals list and all the study should be carried out in compliance with GCP (Goods Clinical Practice).

  • After the successful completion of clinical study, Manufacturer/ applicant gets the approval document along with the consent form and study reports which forms the documents required for the drug registration application.

  • SFDA Evaluation center will evaluate and review the information. If it passes, the file is passed for final approval and provides Pharmaceutical registration certificate which is valid for 5 Years.


  • Applicant submits the clinical study report and other document along with import drug registration form;

  • CFDA/SFDA review evaluate and send notification if any additional information required;

  • SFDA CDE evaluation takes about 120 days and if additional document requires then takes about 160 days;

  • CDE review the drug in about 40-50 days and send report to SFDA/CFDA;

  • SFDA/CFDA approval takes about 20-30 days. And the Import registration certificate is provided to the applicant or manufacturer/importer.


It takes about 8-9 months or 270- 350 days for full registration process which includes 30-35 days after the submission of application for notification, 80-90 days for evaluation of clinical trials, 30-40 days for approval by NMPA, 120-150 days for evaluation of drug by CDE and again 30-40 days to get the approval from NMPA after clinical trials.

If the product is from overseas and approved elsewhere, it still needs to conduct at least some clinical trials or testing before approving the drug in China.

Artixio can help you obtain the marketing authorization for pharmaceutical products in China using our regional teams. Please get in touch with us today for any assistance needed in China.

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