China cuts prices for three drugs by more than 50%

Generics/General | Posted 17/06/2016 post-comment0 Post your comment

In an effort to lower spending on prescription drugs, China has cut the prices for three patent-protected drugs by more than 50%.

Discount Save money V15c13

The policy change was announced by China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) on 20 May 2016. The NHFPC has made agreements with AstraZeneca, Betta Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to cut the prices on their expensive treatments in exchange for bulk purchasing.

AstraZeneca will lower the monthly cost for its cancer drug Iressa (gefitinib) from Yuan 15,000 (US$2,291) to Yuan 7,000 (US$1,069). The cost of China’s Betta Pharmaceuticals lung cancer treatment Conmana (icotinib) will be reduced from Yuan 12,000 (US$1,833) to Yuan 5,500 (US$840) for a month’s supply. GSK will reduce the price of its chronic hepatitis B treatment Viread (tenofovir disoprox), from Yuan 1,500 (US$229) to Yuan 490 (US$75) per month.

Britain’s GSK, which has experienced reduced sales in China since it was found guilty of bribery in 2014, expected the lower price to stimulate increased volume sales. At the reduced price, its hepatitis drug will now be covered by Chinese reimbursement policies, which means patients will no longer have to pay the entire price out of pocket.

The high prices of imported and patented drugs are a heavy burden for Chinese patients. The low level of state health insurance coverage means that patients and their families often have to cover the cost of expensive drugs to treat chronic conditions. Chinese patients have to pay around 77% of all private healthcare costs through out-of-pocket payments, according to the World Health Organization, compared to US patients which only pay on average around 22%. China has, however, introduced guidelines for healthcare reform and is aiming to provide affordable medical care for the entire population by 2020 [1].

Related articles
China’s SFDA to fast-track high-priority generics

China cuts drug prices for the second time in 2011

1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. China’s Healthcare reform in 2010 []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2016 Jun 17]. Available from:

Permission granted to reproduce for personal and non-commercial use only. All other reproduction, copy or reprinting of all or part of any ‘Content’ found on this website is strictly prohibited without the prior consent of the publisher. Contact the publisher to obtain permission before redistributing.

Copyright – Unless otherwise stated all contents of this website are © 2016 Pro Pharma Communications International. All Rights Reserved. 

Source: Bloomberg, China Daily, GSK,NHFPC, Reuters

comment icon Comments (0)
Post your comment
Related content
Pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in Brazil
91 AA007225
Generics/General Posted 26/08/2022
Pharmaceutical companies in Argentina
150 AA010692
Generics/General Posted 08/07/2022
Most viewed articles
About GaBI
Home/About GaBI Posted 06/08/2009
EU guidelines for biosimilars
EMA logo 1 V13C15
Home/Guidelines Posted 08/10/2010