China to lower prices on more cancer drugs

BEIJING, July 13 (Xinhua) -- China's state medical insurance administration will start a new round of negotiations with pharmaceutical companies to add more cancer drugs to the insurance list, the administration said Friday.

Representatives from 10 foreign and eight domestic companies have expressed their willingness to work with the authority to make sure patients have access to and can afford cancer drugs.

In a bid to reduce prices and improve the supply of cancer drugs, China has included the majority of the most frequently used and clinically effective cancer drugs on its medical insurance reimbursement list.

By negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to lower prices and adding more drugs to the insurance system, the financial burden on patients has been significantly reduced, the administration said.

From May 1, import tariffs have been exempted from all common drugs including cancer drugs, cancer alkaloid-based drugs, and imported traditional Chinese medicine.