The price of more than 2,300 medicines are to be cut by an average of 12%, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on 2nd October 2009.
Prices will be cut for around 45% of the essential drugs list. The prices of 49% of medicines on the list will stay the same, while the remaining 6% will have their prices increased to encourage production, as they are currently in short supply. The price changes will come into effect on 22nd October 2009.
The price cuts are being implemented to help people afford essential drugs, and this is part of China’s three-year US$124 billion healthcare reform plan, which aims to provide access to essential healthcare for the entire population by 2010.
The NDRC also announced that state-run basic medical and healthcare facilities will no longer be able to sell medicines at a 15% mark-up, which will reduce prices even more.
The essential medicines list was published in September 2009 (See China - Essential Medicines List Published as Part of Health Reforms).
Further reading - An in-depth analysis of the Chinese pharmaceutical market, including more detailed information on health reforms, is available from Espicom: The Pharmaceutical Market: China (published September 2009)