The Chinese Government has decided to improve policy on the production, distribution and use of drugs.
A document released by the General Office of the State Council proposed systemic reform to improve the quality and therapeutic effect of drugs, and to ensure that supplies are timely and prices reasonable.
Improving the quality and therapeutic effect of drugs is the key task, according to the document, which called for stringent rules for the review and approval for new drugs.
The document said the review and approval of drugs in clinical demand should be streamlined, in addition to supporting generic drugs that had passed conformity assessments, as well as cracking down on offences in the producing and selling of counterfeit and low quality drugs.
The document suggested creating and expediting a network led by major and key enterprises, but supported by small and medium-sized enterprises.
In order to improve drug price transparency, a mechanism to ensure factory prices' traceability was proposed.
Public hospitals should prioritize essential medicines, which must be available to the public at all times, in adequate amounts and at affordable prices.
It said the markup on drugs should be contained, and medical insurance's role should be strengthened, with payment methods improved.
China plans to provide comprehensive medical care across the country through medical reform that will benefit both urban and rural residents.
The top legislature has been working with authorities on a law to help pharmacists properly prepare and allocate medicine, according to the country's health authorities.
In December, the State Council approved two documents, one on improving health care and medical service and another on medical reform, for the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020).
More improvements will be made to the medicine supply system, and the supply of low-price medicine, children's medicine, as well as urgent medicine will be ensured.
(Xinhua News Agency February 9, 2017)