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China To Pare Its National Essential Drug List

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

China's essential drug list was not released as promised by the end of April, to the disappointment of the market (PharmAsia News, April 8, 2009). Informed sources disclosed that the list has been reduced from the previously identified 613 drugs to 500-plus, with the cut mainly in TCM. There is also a 15 to 20 percent reduction in pricing. The Ministry of Health, National Development and Reform Commission, and Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security are trying to come up with a final list, which forms the core of the reform. Analysts attribute the delay to the tussle among various government departments over the selection criteria since each has vested interest. It also shows the state is taking time to ensure that it gets the basic essential drug list right. (Click here for more - Chinese Language)

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