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China adjusts pricing policy for cheaper drugs

Published on May 9, 2014 12:50 PM

SsHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has adjusted its policy on pricing cheaper drugs sold in the country, allowing drugmakers more leeway in deciding how much to charge for their treatments in the face of rising costs.

Under the new policy announced by the price regulator, over 500 drugs considered to be essential for public health will now be officially classified as "low-priced" drugs and sold for standard rates. Prices will be capped at 3 yuan (S$0.60) per daily dosage for Western drugs, and 5 yuan for traditional Chinese medicine.

Previously, China set individual price caps for over 2,000 drugs covered by national health insurance.

"Compared with high-priced drugs, the profitability of cheap medicine is low, which limits the (drugmakers') ability to absorb rising costs," the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement posted on its website on Thursday.

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