BUSINESS China's third round of ‘group buying’ sees drug prices drop 53%

BUSINESS

China's third round of ‘group buying’ sees drug prices drop 53%

Xinhua

08:54, August 21, 2020


SHANGHAI — Medicines selected through the current round of the Chinese government's new centralized drug-procurement program, which took place in Shanghai on Aug 20, will be 53 percent cheaper than normal, on average, for those public health facilities that purchase them, according to the National Healthcare Security Administration.

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Staff workers at a TCM pharmacy in Yichang in Hubei province, pack Chinese medicine for patients, on March 27, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

The third round of the centralized drug-procurement program saw 189 companies bidding to provide medicines to public health facilities, including hospitals. Of those companies making bids, 125 were successful on Aug 20, with 191 products involved.

These products represent a total of 55 varieties of medicine, from an original list of 56 open for bidding.

The centralized procurement system, which was launched last year, was designed in part to help reduce costs to public health facilities, and the first three rounds of bidding have shown the program to be successful in this respect.

It has gained widespread attention within the pharmaceutical industry and has been hailed by experts as a means of boosting drug accessibility for Chinese patients and reducing the financial burden of treatment.

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