China on Monday announced that prices of 188 traditional Chinese
medicines will be cut in its latest effort to provide more
The price cut mainly covers medicines used in the treatment of
wounds, gynecological, eye, nose, ear, throat, and skin diseases,
said the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's
top economic planning and regulating agency.
The commission said a retail price reduction averaging 16
percent will take effect as of April 16 and save consumers 1.6
billion yuan each year.
It also urged local authorities to closely monitor the drug
market and take timely measures to lower retail prices of any
medicines that were marked up from the wholesale price by more than
15 percent at non-profit medical institutions at or above the
Medicines are still over-priced despite several price
reductions, said Ma Kai, head of the commission, on March 7, adding
the nation needs systematic reforms to ensure medicines are more
"The drug market is actually very chaotic and many
medicines have their names changed to avoid price cuts," he
Ma says the government should take more measures to change the
system that requires hospitals to earn a profit by selling
medicine. He also wants problems in drug production and
distribution addressed and to correct irregularities in the
approval of new medicines.
(Xinhua News Agency April 10, 2007)