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China negotiates on patented, imported drug prices

Updated: Mar 9,2016 2:23 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The National Health and Family Planning Commission is negotiating with pharmaceutical companies on lowering prices of five drugs as part of a pilot program, said Li Bin, head of the commission, on March 8.

The five drugs are for treatment of cancer or other major diseases, and are very expensive as they are patented or imported, Li said, adding that their prices are expected to be cut by at least half.

Li, who was speaking at the press conference on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session, did not elaborate on which drugs or pharmaceutical companies are involved.

Once negotiations are concluded successfully, the drugs can be covered by health insurance, added Ma Xiaowei, the commission’s deputy.