(ECNS) -- China plans to introduce measures, including centralized procurement at a provincial level, that will further reduce the price of anti-cancer drugs, Economic Information Daily reported.
At a meeting held by the State Medical Insurance Administration in Shanghai, suggestions regarding provincial procurement of antineoplastic drugs already included in the country's catalogue of medical insurance reimbursement were solicited, said an insider.
Centralized purchasing can reduce the cost of drugs as well as optimize clinical drug use in order to meet patients’ needs, the source said. Provinces can expand the scope of drug purchasing depending on the amount of drugs used, their cost, and clinical needs.
Medical institutions are encouraged to use drugs that have seen a large price drop. For manufacturers that abuse their market dominance, the use of their drugs will be placed under strict limits while alternative drugs and therapies will be preferred, the source said.
The administration will also conduct access talks, negotiate with relevant enterprises to determine a reasonable price, and include more anti-cancer drugs in the catalogue of medical insurance reimbursement.
Li Ling, director of the Health and Development Center at Peking University, said the pharmaceutical market was unable to lower prices simply by competition, nor could a single hospital put pressure on drug manufacturers, but China’s super-sized market could result in lower prices.