Chinese people warned against over-use of drugs

13:01, December 25, 2010      

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China's National Development and Reform Commission has warned of the dangers of drug overdoses among the public in a report referred to the top legislature for review on Friday.

Figures from the report show that a staggering 10.4 billion bags of intravenous therapy drips were used in medical treatments in 2009, which equals 8 bags for every person in China.

"The figure is much higher than the 2.5 to 3.3 bags per person set down by international standards," said Zhu Zhixin, vice director of the commission, while delivering the report to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).

"Such overdoses are severely harming people's health and safety," Zhu said, adding that antibiotics, hormones, vitamins and intravenous therapies are among the most frequently used medicines by doctors.

Zhu noted that such situations might partly result from a flawed medical system in which doctors seek more financial compensation by prescribing extra drugs for patients.

In addition, Zhu said that more than half of government-funded medical institutions at grassroots levels had implemented a basic medicine system, which stipulated that drugs are to be sold at prices initially set by the government.

According to Zhu's estimation, the prices of basic medicines dropped by 30 percent after the system took effect.

The country's basic medicine system, which was first implemented in 2009, covers 307 medications.

The 18th session of the Standing Committee of the 11th NPC will review a series of reports and draft laws, including a draft amendment to the Criminal Law, a draft revision to the Law on Water and Soil Conservation, and a draft law on intangible cultural heritage.

The session runs from Dec. 20 to 25.

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