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More affordable drugs offered with healthcare reform

Updated: Apr 25,2019 2:34 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s healthcare reform has offered more affordable drugs for patients, said a senior health official on April 24.

Seventeen anti-cancer drugs were added to the medical insurance reimbursement list, with their prices cut by 56.7 percent on average, Xue Haining with the National Health Commission told a press briefing.

A new trial program on centralized medicine procurement and use launched in 11 pilot cities has cut the prices of 25 selected medicines by an average of 52 percent, according to Xue.

These measures have eased burdens on patients and helped regulate the medicine market, said Xue.

According to Xue, the number of medicines under the country’s basic medicine system, which ensures the accessibility and fair prices of the patients’ most-needed drugs, has been expanded from 520 to 685 in 2018.

The authorities also worked to expedite the review and approval procedures for overseas new drugs for rare disease and serious illness prevention and treatment to enter the Chinese market, the official said.

Xue said the inspection and check of drug quality have been intensified and results of the work are made public in a timely manner.

The authorities also strengthened the monitoring of incidents involving defective drugs and medical equipment and enhanced early warning and emergency response in this regard.

She said the circulation process of drugs is put under regulation with the use of the internet being encouraged to ensure the public get the drugs they need safely and conveniently.

Moreover, authorities are working to regulate drug prescriptions to make sure that medicines are used in a reasonable way, another measure to reduce the financial burden of the patients, Xue said.