All parties benefit from negotiated cuts in pharmaceutical drug prices
published the result of the price negotiations on 36 medicines. The end-user price of the drugs has decreased by 44 percent on average, compared with their retail price last year, and they have been listed on the drug directory of the national medical insurance system. Beijing Youth Daily comments:
It is noteworthy that 15 out of the 36 medicines treat cancers and the rest are drugs for cardiovascular disease, hemophilia, and other serious illness.
The remarkable drop in the prices of these medicines resulted from the negotiations between the government and the pharmaceutical companies, the first time such negotiations have taken place in China, and they will relieve the medical cost burden on patients.
There have long been calls for these expensive drugs to be covered by the national medical insurance fund. However, their previously high prices made it impossible for the fund to cover them.
Yet despite the decrease in the price of these medicines, the profits made by the pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to fall as the sales volume of the medicines now they are included in the medical
insurance’s drug directory will significantly increase.
The tangible benefits the negotiations have produced are well worth the difficult and protracted discussions between the two parties. The purpose of the price negotiation is to look for an equilibrium point that can balance the interests of the medical insurance fund, patients and the drug enterprises, so as to make the whole system more sustainable.
The inclusion of the drugs in the medical insurance coverage directly improves the quality of the system and meets the needs of patients.
The price negotiation organized by the public health authorities enhances the transparency of the medicine pricing mechanism, and removes the middlemen, setting a good example as a conventional practice for the future.