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China to include more life-saving drugs into medical insurance reimbursement

By Zhu Yueying (People's Daily)    10:30, March 06, 2019

China will allow inclusion of more medicines for serious diseases in the list of medical insurance reimbursement this year by optimizing the medical insurance catalogs, an official with China’s medical authority said on March 3.

Regulators check the use of drugs included in medical insurance system at a storehouse of an affiliated hospital to Fujian Medical University in southeast China's Fujian province, August 2, 2018. (Photo by People's Daily)

The move aims to further expand the public’s access to drugs and ease their financial burden, Hu Jinglin, head of National Healthcare Security Administration, added in an interview he received after the opening meeting of the second session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The administration added 17 anti-cancer drugs to the national basic medical insurance program following price negotiations with pharmaceutical companies last year, the head said, adding that the price of the drugs dropped 56.7 percent on average compared to the average retail price.

Hu stressed that the costs resulted from these drugs are not included in the previous budget for medical insurance and medical agencies are not allowed to restrict the use of anti-cancer drugs in name of reducing share of drug sales in the total revenues.

As of the end of last year, 45,000 people were reimbursed 260 million yuan ($38.82 million), he added.

The administration plans to reform the current management approaches for medical insurance catalog, establish a dynamic adjustment mechanism, and adjust this year's catalog by September, according to the head.

The adjustment will be based on clinical needs and the affordability of the medical insurance fund, Hu said, adding that medications for cancer, rare ailments, chronic and childhood diseases will be given priority.

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

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