All par­ties ben­e­fit from ne­go­ti­ated cuts in phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal drug prices

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - THE MIN­ISTRY OF HU­MAN RE­SOURCES AND SO­CIAL SE­CU­RITY

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.

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