BEIJING – Drug manufacturers have agreed to cut prices by about 50% on average for more than 100 drugs to include them in China’s state medical insurance scheme from March, potentially heralding a massive jump in sales.
The National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA) said in a statement Monday that 119 drugs would be added to the National Reimbursement Medicine (NRDL) with an average price reduction of 50.64%.
96 of them are branded products with drugs without generic versions available on the domestic market, according to the statement.
They included some key products manufactured by foreign pharmaceutical companies, such as Novartis’ giant anti-inflammatory drug Cosentyx, and the Israeli company Teva Pharmaceuticals Austedo treatment for Huntington’s disease.
The list also included some medicines for COVID-19.
The new drug list will be effective from March 2021, the NHSA said. Inclusion on the list could potentially increase the demand for medication, as patients can be reimbursed a significant portion of the cost.
The NHSA updates its list annually. Average sales of drugs last added increased by nearly 2,000% over a nine-month period in 2020, according to a study by ICBC International Research analysts.