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Hypertension and diabetes patients’ burdens to be eased: Premier

Updated: Sep 14,2019 08:33 AM
Premier Li Keqiang inquires about the supply and price of medicines largely demanded by the people at Huashan Hospital in Shanghai on April 11, 2018. 

The State Council executive meeting on Sept 11, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, rolled out policies to ease burdens on patients living with hypertension and diabetes.

There are currently more than 400 million hypertension and diabetes patients throughout the country, all included in the basic medical insurance system.

Among them, over 300 million are covered by urban and rural resident medical insurance and will be reimbursed for outpatient drugs on the Catalogue of Drugs for Basic National Medical Insurance, with the reimbursement ratio to be raised to over 50 percent, according to the meeting.

In this year's Government Work Report, Premier Li said that the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases should be intensified.

He also said that hypertension and diabetes drugs should be included in the medical insurance reimbursement scheme, which is conducive to the improvement of people’s health and labor force’s quality.

“When visiting poverty-stricken families, I found that hypertension and diabetes drugs accounted for a big proportion in their drug boxes, which cost so much that some families returned to poverty,” Premier Li said, adding that related departments and institutions must take measures to reduce prices of such drugs to ease burdens on patients.

He further said that the early diagnosis and treatment of hypertension and diabetes can lower the rate of major diseases and promote the sustainability of medical insurance funds.

Reimbursement minimum lines are not needed in places where conditions permit and the maximum lines can be set by local governments accordingly.

Current policies still apply to patients included in the insurance system for chronic and special diseases, the meeting decided.

The meeting also called for lower prices and improvements in domestic hypertension and diabetes drugs, a unified procurement policy for the drugs and expanded purchasing scope to reduce costs. Doctors were also encouraged to prescribe drugs for longer periods to ease patients’ burdens.