China said on Tuesday that it would lower the retail prices of
99 kinds of antimicrobial drugs by an average of 30 percent to
squeeze out profits made by drug dealers and hospitals.
The new price caps, involving more than 400 specific products,
could save consumers about 4.3 billion yuan (US$540 million), said
the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The rising cost of medical care has put a heavy burden on
Chinese patients, leading to widespread protests. Middlemen between
drug factories and patients have made huge profits out of drug
"The antimicrobial drugs are chosen as they are widely used in
clinical practice and are often the subject of public complaints,"
said an unnamed NDRC official.
The agency launched an investigation last December into the
production costs and actual retail prices of antimicrobial drugs
and then moved to finalize the price reduction plan.
The price cut plan will take effect on Aug. 28, according to the
NDRC slashed the prices of 67 kinds of anti-tumor drugs by an
average of 23 percent in June and reduced consumers' medical costs
by 2.3 billion yuan (US$290 million).
(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2006)