The General Office of the State Council on Tuesday issued a document to further encourage the research and development of generic drugs.
The document, entitled "Opinions regarding reforming and perfecting policies in the supply and usage of generic drugs," stressed that the necessity of doing so is to lower healthcare costs, meet the demands of the public, and build a "healthy China."
To meet the urgent demand for high-quality generic drugs, the medical authority was told to regularly publish lists of generic drugs in need, bring related research projects into national plans, and improve the current protection system for intellectual property rights (IPR), according to document.
The quality and efficiency of generic drugs needs to be supervised and improved, said the document.
It also called for more policy support to expedite the process of putting more high-quality generic drugs into clinical use.
With more support in research and development, registration of Chinese-made generic drugs, as well as in the marketing of the drugs in the global market, companies will be encouraged by the government to carry out international cooperation, the document added.
Developing generic drugs has huge economic and social significance to the country as they lower medical expenditure, improve the accessibility of drugs and the medical service level in China, said an official with China's National Health Commission.
Encouraging the research and manufacturing of both new drugs and generic drugs fits the current situation in China's medicine industry, which on one hand protects IPR development and on the other hand improves the healthcare services for the people, said the official.
From 2011 to 2015, altogether 323 "innovative" drugs were approved for clinical research in China, and 139 new generic drugs entered the market.