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Patients in China benefit from lower drug prices

This year’s World Health Day campaign focuses on universal health coverage, and WHO is working to ensure individuals across the world have access to the care they need. Now let’s take a look at the new measures China has taken to provide better medical treatment and healthcare services to its people.
 
China is eyeing speedier price cuts on rare-disease drugs. These diseases include Albinism and hemophilia. Since March, cuts of up to 3 percent have been made to value-added taxes for 21 imported rare-disease drugs and four active pharmaceutical ingredients.
 
Currently, more than 20 million patients could benefit from these changes.
 
Another round of price cuts takes aim at cancer drugs.
 
Since last October, 17 cancer medicines have been covered on the medical insurance list. Prices of these drugs have been sharply down, by over 56 percent on average. For example, a drug used to treat lung cancer, called Xalkori, has been reduced in price from over 50,000 yuan per bottle to 15,000 yuan per bottle.
 
If we look at the bigger picture, as of last year, China’s basic medical insurance covered over 1.3 billion people among both urban and rural residents, which is nearly 98 percent of the country’s whole population.
 
Meanwhile, the country is working to improve the quality of grassroots public health facilities and private healthcare to make sure that patients can get treatments from their nearest hospitals.
 
The establishment of China’s “Internet Hospitals” is also in full swing. Through apps or video chats, patients can talk with well-known doctors from hospitals all over the nation, receive a treatment regimen and get treatment online.

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