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Many Chinese cities reduce price of imported anticancer drugs

(People's Daily Online)    10:26, July 26, 2018

Many Chinese cities have recently reduced prices of imported drugs in response to adjustments of import tariffs and relevant policies, as pharmaceutical companies also offered to cut their drug prices to seize the market share, Guangzhou Daily reported.

For example, Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province has requested that drug providers renew quotations of 45 anticancer drugs. Public medical institutions in the province are expected to be able to buy these anticancer drugs at lower prices by the end of August.

Since May 1, 2018, China has called off import tariffs on drugs including anticancer drugs, and also adjusted policies involving value added tax. Industry insiders predict that the price reduction driven by policy will not exceed five percent.

In addition to this, pharmaceutical giants such as Xian-Janssen and Pfizer have offered to reduce their drug prices in many Chinese cities this year, which industry observers say is actually to fight for the market share.

Xian-Janssen has reduced the price of its important anticancer drug Decitabine for Injection from 10,237.68 yuan ($1,509) to 4,996 yuan ($738), down 52 percent, making the price similar or even cheaper than domestic generic drugs.

Pfizer also offered to reduce prices of some of its drugs in several provinces of China. In central China’s Hubei province, the company decided to reduce the prices of 15 drugs by 10.2 percent at most, with nearly half of them being anticancer drugs.

The Chinese government released an official document on improving policies of supply and use of generic drugs in April. It indicates China’s intention to promote fair competition between imported drugs that have exceeded the term of patent and generic drugs with the same quality and efficacy, and to facilitate their substitution.

The government’s support for generic drugs has triggered the price competition, an industry observer told the media, saying that while not irreplaceable, original drugs still have advantages. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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