Major Policy Shift on Costs and Safety Views as China Moves to Lift Price Controls on Drugs

Monday, March 9, 2015

Source: Fierce Pharma Asia

China Premier Li Keqiang said the government will lift price controls on pharmaceuticals, which would mark a dramatic change of tack in efforts to both widen access to medicines from the cities into the countryside while keeping spending in check.

Li announced the decision in his annual government work report plan that opens the annual two-week National People's Conference, a legislative body that nominally advises the Communist Party-run government on broad policy aims.

The report did not disclose details or a timeline. The disclosure is part of a broad statement on China's intention to eventually lift price controls and give market forces a greater role in its economy.

"In principle, we will lift pricing controls over all goods and services that can viably compete in markets," it said. "The government will stop setting prices for most pharmaceuticals and delegate to lower-level governments the power to set prices for certain basic public services."

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