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Govt policy moves from past week

Mo Jingxi
Updated: Feb 02,2021 07:18 AM    China Daily

New measures for bulk buying of drugs

China will make the country's centralized drug bulk-buying program a regular formalized practice, in a significant move to advance the supply-side reform of pharmaceutical services, a guideline said on Jan 28. 

The guideline, issued by the General Office of the State Council, said the efforts are intended to lower drug prices to a reasonable level, ease the financial burden on patients, promote the healthy development of the pharmaceutical industry and advance reforms of public medical institutions, so that sick people can have access to medical care.

According to the guideline, drugs that are in strong demand and have a high price will be prioritized in the procurement. Efforts will also be made to explore the appropriate methods to procure drugs for rare illnesses and others that are clinically necessary, but in small demand, to ensure stable supplies.

While drug producers who win supply contracts are mainly responsible for ensuring product quality, local governments are required to exercise strict supervision over the production, circulation and use of selected drugs, the guideline said.

To improve the function of centralized drug procurement platforms and facilitate interconnectivity among provincial procurement platforms, the guideline also urged speeding up the establishment of a unified and open market for centralized drug procurement across the country.

Travel controls on risky COVID-19 areas

Travel limitations will be placed on people from COVID-19 risk areas to ensure the general public can enjoy safety during the Spring Festival holiday, a notice has said.

Residents in areas at high risk of COVID-19 should remain where they are residing and travel from medium-risk areas will require permission from the local epidemic prevention and control authorities, said a notice released by the general offices of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Jan 25. Those living in low-risk areas are also advised to avoid traveling unless necessary.

To guarantee the supplies of necessities and power supplies for the public during the Spring Festival holiday, which starts on Feb 12, all localities, especially large and medium-sized cities, will need to make full preparations, the notice said.

Farmers' markets, supermarkets, e-commerce platforms for fresh produce, and logistics and distribution enterprises will maintain normal operations, the notice stressed. Members of the public will also have their needs met for public recreation, activities and entertainment as long as epidemic prevention and control measures are not violated, it said.

Those who carry on working during the holiday, especially migrant workers from China's rural areas, will receive overtime payments and rest as stipulated by various laws, it said.

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