(Yicai Global) Nov. 28 -- China's National Healthcare Security Administration has added 97 drugs to the national medical insurance reimbursement list after talks with pharmaceutical companies in the largest such negotiations since the advent of China's health insurance system.
The imported medicines among them will come at the lowest prices worldwide, Xiong Xianjun, director of the Medical Service Department at the National Healthcare Security Administration, said at a press conference today in Beijing.
The average price cut of new drugs was 60.7 percent, including an average reduction of 8 percent for the three hepatitis C medicines and 65 percent for tumor and diabetes medications, while renewed drug costs fell by an average of 26.4 percent. Negotiated decreases and medical insurance reimbursement will ease the personal burden on patients by more than 80 percent and the load of individual drugs by more than 95 percent, the administration conservatively estimates.
A total of 150 pharmaceuticals were under discussion for inclusion on the list, 119 newcomers and 31 existing entries seeking renewal, with 70 of the would-be entrants making the grade and 27 of the incumbents re-qualifying.
Drugs successfully negotiated this time are mainly new medicaments that have been marketed in recent years and have high clinical value, Xiong noted. They span more than 10 treatment areas, including cancer, rare diseases, hepatitis, diabetes, tuberculosis and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases The directory's structure has also further optimized, he added.
The conclusion of the drug talks signals the completion of this year's adjustment of China's national health insurance reimbursement catalog. Regular access and negotiated access added 2,709 medicines to this new edition of the roll, which will come into use on Jan. 1. Compared with the 2017 edition, 218 medicines came on, while 154 pharmaceuticals fell off for a net increase of 64. A mere 17 new drugs made the list last year, at prices 36 percent lower than the market going rate in China's neighbors.
Editors: Dou Shicong, Ben Armour