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Ministries respond to public concerns

Xu Wei
Updated: Mar 19,2019 7:18 AM     China Daily

Several ministry level departments, including those for healthcare security, market regulation and education, have responded recently to issues of public concern.

More cancer drugs to be included in insurance list

The National Healthcare Security Administration said on March 13 that it is considering adding more anti-cancer drugs to its new list of medicines eligible for medical insurance reimbursement this year.

The administration said in a statement that it will expand the list of drugs included in the medical insurance and refine the structure of medicines to reduce the burden on patients.

Apart from cancer drugs, medicines for rare diseases, chronic illness, children and first-aid treatment are also priorities for the new reimbursement list, according to the statement.

The candidates for inclusion should be drugs that have been launched in markets with the approval of the National Medical Products Administration before the end of last year, according to the document.

Last year, 17 anti-cancer drugs were included in the country’s medical insurance reimbursement list, with their prices cut by 56.7 percent on average after a round of price negotiations between the administration and pharmaceutical companies.

The new list of drugs will be published before June, and the authority will also publish a new list of drugs for which their prices are being negotiated between the administration and producers, the statement said.

Quality checks carried out on range of products

The State Administration for Market Regulation released the result of its random quality check on 30 categories of products carried out at the end of last year on March 15, which also marked World Consumer Rights Day.

The market regulator said in a statement that of the 2,786 batches of checked goods, ranging from pens to building materials, 12.5 percent were found to have failed quality standards. The quality inspection covered more than 2,400 producers.

It said that microwave ovens, food processing machines such as juicers, and printers were of the best quality with no inferior products found. Ten categories including pens, stuffed toys, projectors and copper pipes saw over 90 percent of products reaching quality standards.

Meanwhile, about 20 to 40 percent of treadmills, soybean milk machines and paper shredders were found to have failed quality standards in the inspection.

The market regulator said it would step up follow-up checks on categories with a higher percentage of failing quality standards, adding that producers that failed the checks, in particular those rejecting checks or having persistent poor records, would face severe punishment.

Ministry to conduct review of school apps

The Ministry of Education said in a policy document released on March 14 that it will conduct a full review of mobile apps used by schools to ensure they are free of harmful content.

The ministry will launch a joint campaign with cyberspace authorities to crack down on illegal mobile apps used within campuses.

It will also come up with a regulation on mobile apps to be used on campuses to establish a long-term mechanism on management of such applications.

The ministry introduced a ban on apps containing inappropriate information involving pornography, violence, online games or commercial advertisements in December, listing several detailed measures for eradicating such apps.

It also called for stricter review on mobile apps for educational purposes to ensure that they do not increase students’ academic burdens or teachers’ workloads.

Greater scrutiny of personal information use

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on March 16 that it will launch investigations into businesses that allegedly used mobile apps to illegally gather personal information and made unsolicited phone calls to individuals.

The move came after reports by the China Central Television on its gala for the World Consumer Rights Day on March 15 that several internet companies are using robots to make nuisance calls to pitch products and services.

The ministry said it has launched an investigation into the four companies suspected of making the nuisance calls and will punish them if their wrongdoings are confirmed.

It has also required app stores to ban mobile applications suspected of gathering information of users.