China will lower the average cost of more than 240 traditional Chinese medicine by 20 percent, the country's top economic planning body announced on Wednesday.
The price cut mainly focuses on the frequently-used traditional Chinese drugs, covering over 1,000 categories, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
This is the 18th cut in the cost of drugs since the government resumed price controls over some drugs in September 2005, in an attempt to control soaring health care costs.
Some drugs in this round of price cuts will be slashed by as much as 81 percent, saving consumers about 5 billion yuan, said NDRC.
The price cuts directed by NDRC will take effect on March 15.
NDRC also encouraged competent drug makers to properly raise the price of their products that are in high demand and with good quality to promote sound market order.
NDRC announced new procedures before setting a medicine price on Sunday, including production cost investigation, expert evaluation, and public discussion.
It will continue to lower the cost of overpriced drugs in 2007, which is expected to save consumers a total of 20 billion yuan.
(Xinhua News Agency March 1, 2007)