China has pledged to continue to advance a trial program on centralized medicine procurement and use to ensure patients' access to high-quality medicine at lower prices.
Fifteen new measures have been adopted at an executive meeting of the State Council to tackle bottlenecks in the implementation of the trial program, said Wang Hesheng, deputy head of the National Health Commission, at a press conference Wednesday.
The measures include optimizing the mode of centralized medicine procurement, expanding the coverage of drugs, improving medicine quality and stabilizing medicine supply, said Wang.
In 2018, 11 cities that ran the trial program saw an average price reduction of 52 percent in 25 selected medicines.
The trial program has also promoted high-quality development of pharmaceutical enterprises by reducing their sales expenses, according to Chen Jinfu, deputy head of the National Healthcare Security Administration.