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China to cut prices of expensive patent drugs

Updated: May 20,2016 8:19 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s health authority on May 20 announced cuts of over 50 percent in the prices of three patent drugs.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission said pharmaceutical manufacturers have agreed to lower some drugs’ prices on condition of bulk purchase.

GlaxoSmithCline (GSK) will reduce the price of Tenofovir Disoprox, a treatment for hepatitis B, from 1500 yuan ($229) to 490 yuan per month.

Icotinib, an anti-cancer drug made by China’s Betta Pharmaceuticals, will be cut from 12,000 yuan to 5,500 yuan for a month’s supply.

AstraZeneca will lower the monthly cost for the anti-cancer Gefitinib from 15,000 yuan to 7,000 yuan.

High prices of imported and patent drugs are a heavy burden for Chinese patients and the country as a whole.