The National Healthcare Security Administration and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on Monday published a new catalog of medicines for basic medical insurance, work-related injury insurance and maternity insurance effective from March 1, lowering the prices of 119 medicines by more than half.
This sets a record in the number of medicines whose prices have been lowered. Another notable feature of the newly adjusted catalog is the significantly shorter time interval between adjustments. Since the formulation of the first list for the country's medical insurance drugs in 2000, adjustments were made in 2004, 2009, 2017 and 2019. The interval between this adjustment and the last one is just one year. The reason for this short interval is a document issued by the National Healthcare Security Administration on July 30 on medicines management for basic medical insurance, which stipulates that the country's administrative department for medical security will in principle establish and improve a dynamic adjustment mechanism, to be adjusted once a year.
In the past, it was difficult for new and essential drugs to be included in the insurance list. But faster adjustment means drug companies do not have to worry about their medicines being shelved so long as they are quality medicines. This will encourage pharmaceutical enterprises to increase investment in R&D, make innovations and strive to achieve a competitive advantage of high quality and low price. However, those pharmaceutical companies that still refuse to give up old practices are bound to be punished and eventually eliminated by the market.
With a faster adjustment pace, the catalog of insured drugs will no longer be a "safe box". In the past, many auxiliary drugs stayed on the list of insured medicines for a long time, making it difficult for many necessary and good clinical drugs urgently needed by patients to enter the list. However, after the dynamic adjustment of the list patients can stop "looking at drugs and feeling frustrated".
The dynamic catalog adjustment will also lead to rapid drug innovation and R&D by pharmaceutical companies, reduce doctors' concerns when prescribing drugs and rapidly improve medical insurance and people's welfare.
With the rapid improvement of medical insurance and people's welfare, improvement in the quality of drugs will become an inevitable trend. Not only that, the price of medicines will dip and the burden of medical treatment on patients will be mitigated.