BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Finance announced Friday VAT reductions for rare-disease drugs to lower the cost for patients with rare diseases and encourage development of the pharmaceutical industry.
Starting March 1, 2019, the VAT rate for the import of rare-disease drugs will be reduced to 3 percent, the ministry said in an online statement.
VAT for the production and sale, wholesale and retail of rare-disease drugs will also be reduced to 3 percent from March 1.
A total of 21 rare-disease drugs and four active pharmaceutical ingredients will become first to enjoy the polices, according to the ministry.
Currently, China has more than 20 million people with rare diseases, who have very few options in terms of treatment.