Procurement of medicines requires more transparency
has urged its local branches in Shanghai and Central China’s Hunan province to hold accountable all parties involved in a recent scandal, in which doctors received kickbacks for prescribing drugs. Beijing News commented on Sunday:
It is not news that some doctors feast on prescription kickbacks. But what is incredible in this case is some of drugs, which are supposed to be affordable to most residents, cost patients more than they would pay for the drugs in a private hospital.
That nearly half the money patients paid for the drugs were kickbacks for some doctors is not only a stain on medical ethics and the nationwide fight against corruption, but also a setback for the country’s efforts to keep hospitals away from illegal price-fixing. Harsher restrictions are called for to keep both the medication procurement and bid-
ding in check.
Therefore, the bidding process for medicines should be made transparent for public scrutiny and a set of market-based prices introduced for reference.
Which drugs are procured and at what cost should be disclosed in a timely fashion for needed supervision. Those who report overpriced drugs or illegal price-fixing that prove true, should receive proper rewards.
An improved accountability mechanism is essential as part of efforts to regulate the procurement of medicines.