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China Cuts Retail Prices of 67 Drugs
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The Chinese government has cut the retail prices of 67 drugs used for the treatment of cancer by a range of anywhere from 23 percent to 57 percent in a response to public complaint over soaring prices for drugs and medical services.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement Thursday that the move is aimed at reducing the financial burden of medical services on the public.

The NDRC said it has begun by reducing cancer drugs as these are usually very expensive.

Of the 67 drugs, 23 used to have their prices determined by the market. They were included on the list of drugs whose prices are fixed by the government last year.

Preparations for the move was started in late 2005. The NDRC said it had conducted a thorough investigation of the market and extensive consultations with industry sources and local authorities.

Further adjustments of drug prices can be expected, the NDRC statement said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 2, 2006)

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