BioScience Trends. 2019;13(6):464-468. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2019.01339)
Progress on drug pricing negotiations in China.
Tang M, Song PP, He JJ
On November 28th, 2019, the National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA) and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) of China announced the results of drug pricing negotiations. Seventy first-negotiated drugs with 60.7% average price decrease and twenty-seven re-negotiated medicines with 26.4% average price fall, involving 11 disease categories, were successfully incorporated into National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL). Medicines that successfully get accessed to NRDL are mostly new listings with high clinical value, and more than half of them are manufactured by Chinese enterprises. Compared to the negotiated drug list of 2017, the biggest increase in western medicines is the alimentary tract and metabolism (10 drugs added), and the traditional Chinese medicine is internal medicine (17 drugs added). The negotiation follows the process including preparation, examination, negotiation, and announcement. There are several innovations in the procedure, such as the parallel calculation of the floor price, the introduction of competitive negotiations, allowing companies to apply for price confidentiality, and increasing government-enterprise communication before negotiations. Incorporating patented drugs into NRDL by negotiation not only helps patients reduce the economic burden, but also encourages pharmaceutical companies to innovate.