China's drug authority on Wednesday approved inclusion of 17 varieties of anti-cancer drugs in the government's basic medical insurance programs, as part of efforts to ease the financial burden on patients.
Pharmacists work at a hospital in Enshi, Central China's Hubei province. (Photo: VCG)
Starting from June, the State Administration of Medical Insurance has been in negotiations with domestic and overseas pharmaceutical companies, with the aim to lower the prices and put more anti-cancer drugs under medical insurance.
The 17 patented drugs include 12 for solid tumors treatment and the other five for hematological neoplasms treatment, which all have curative effort for clinical trial. And after inclusion in medical insurance, the average price fall was 56.7 percent, compared to the retail prices.
The country lifted the import tariffs on 103 of 138 anti-cancer drugs available in May, and significantly reduced the value added tax levied on these drugs. On the list of 103 anti-cancer drugs, 82 types have been included in the governments' basic medical insurance programs.