70 drugs price down by 61% under China's basic medical insurance
70 drugs have been newly included in a list of drugs covered by China's basic medical insurance on Tuesday, with their prices down an average of 61 percent, according to the National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA).
Chinese patients can use their state medical insurance to cover a significant portion of the cost of drugs named on the list, which now includes a total of 2,709 drugs.
And the cost burden on patients for the newly added drugs will be cut by more than 80 percent when the new list takes effect on January 1, 2020.
The result was achieved through negotiations with pharmaceutical companies, and Tuesday's bargain is the largest in terms of the number of drugs negotiated since China established the medical insurance system.
The newly added drugs are mostly those that hit the market in recent years and have high clinical value, among which are Roche's breast cancer treatment Pertuzumab, sold under the trade name Perjeta, and Novartis's dermatitis treatment Omalizumab, branded as Xolair.
Almost all the imported drugs added to the list in the latest update had the "lowest prices globally," the NHSA said in its statement.
Tumor and diabetes medicines saw an average price cut of about 65 percent, according to the NHSA.
Other drugs added includes Adalimumab, an arthritis treatment which AbbVie sells as Humira, one of the top-selling drugs in the world.
Also included is cancer treatment Tyvyt, or Sintilimab, co-developed by Chinese drugmaker Innovent Biologics and Eli Lilly. It is considered to be a PD-1/PD-L1 treatment, a category of novel drugs that work on the immune system to fight cancer cells.