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Price cut for 20 types of drugs

By LAN LAN (China Daily)

08:29, January 10, 2013

Customers shop for over-the-counter medicines at a drugstore in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui autonomous region, on Tuesday. The country's price regulator announced a 15 percent price cut on more than 20 types of drugs starting on Feb 1. [Photo/Peng Zhaozhi/Xinhua]

China will adopt new methods, including international price comparisons, to regulate the price of imported drugs, an official at the country's top price regulator said on Tuesday.

After five price adjustments since 2011, large-scale price drops in Western medicines have almost been completed as part of ongoing efforts to lower customers' medical costs.

Chinese herbal medicine will be the next priority for price adjustments in 2013, and high-priced drugs with high profit margins will see further cuts, said Song Dacai, director of the medicine pricing section of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planning body.

Drug prices should be adjusted in accordance with changes in manufacturing costs. Imported drugs will probably be priced using international price comparisons, said Song.

Data on prices are still being collected and analyses made, with reference to markets such as the United States and Japan, Song told China Daily.

"Each country or region has its individual pricing system, tariff and logistic costs. We will form our own pricing method with reference to theirs," he said, adding the method is aimed at limiting a monopoly on drug prices.

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